NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, a leading contender in the mayoral race, was in damage control mode Wednesday after questions were raised about whether he really lives in New York City.
Opponents are demanding that Adams release his E-ZPass records to prove where he stays, CBS2’s Marcia Kramer reported.
Adams allowed reporters inside a Brooklyn apartment he owns in an attempt to say he lives there, after questions were raised about whether he really spends his time in Fort Lee, New Jersey with his girlfriend.
Watch Marcia Kramer’s report —
“It’s really silly to even insinuate. How foolish would someone have to be to run to be the mayor of the City of New York and live in another municipality?” Adams said.
Questions were raised after reporters for Politico found him sleeping in his office night after night, and doing mayor forums in New Jersey.
“I never hid that I owned a co-op in New Jersey with Tracy, but I live … my primary residence is in Brooklyn,” Adams said.
Adams’ son, Jordan, who lives in New Jersey, joined him at the press conference. The former cop broke down in tears while talking about how his relationship with his son has suffered because of his political ambitions.
“Wasn’t there for his football games … his birthdays,” Adams said.
He also defended his residency on CNN late Wednesday night, saying, “Eric, he’s a New Yorker. He’s a Brooklynite, and he lives on Lafayette Place.”
Adams’ mayor opponents were skeptical, demanding he prove where he sleeps and how often he goes to New Jersey by releasing his E-ZPass records.
I don’t think he lives there.
— Andrew Yang🧢🗽🇺🇸 (@AndrewYang) June 9, 2021
“I do think he has to answer questions with two weeks left in the mayor’s race. I do think releasing any and all records will be good for the discussion,” Scott Stringer said.
Kathryn Garcia release a statement saying New Yorkers deserve transparency.
“Eric Adams has a problematic record of not being fully honest or transparent with the voters of New York,” Garcia said.
“Can we just have some real talk for a minute here?” Maya Wiley added. “This is bizarre.”
Adams was asked if he would make his E-ZPass records available.
“E-ZPass records of the city vehicle is public information. You can get that any time you want,” Adams said.
But when CBS2 called the borough president’s office to ask for the records a spokesman said “Let me look into this and I’ll get back to you.”
Polls indicate the race could be wide open, particularly with ranked choice voting, where people can choose their favorite candidates in order of preferences.
The stage is set for Thursday’s frontrunners’ debate at CBS2. Four of the top Democratic candidates will appear.
Maya Wiley is among them. She has picked up key endorsements and picked up steam in a new poll, surging into second place behind Adams.
Adams will be missing from the CBS2 debate. He says he will be attending a vigil for 10-year-old Justin Wallace, who was shot dead in Queens last weekend.
Adams’ opponents will no doubt be piling on him in his absence.
“He’s ducking this week’s debate, and now he probably lives in New Jersey,” Yang said.
Following the CBS2 debate, there will be just two days before early voting begins with voters focusing on a couple of crucial issues.
“The issues really are crime and disorder. The economy comes probably right behind there somewhere, but crime and disorder,” Democratic strategist Henry Sheinkopf told CBS2’s Dick Brennan.
Sheinkopf says forget the polls in the age of ranked-choice voting.
“Can anything happen with ranked choice voting/? You bet ’cause we don’t know, and in New York, if anything can happen, frankly it will,” he said.
Early voting lasts from June 12-20. You can request an absentee ballot online or by mail up until June 15, and Primary Day itself is June 22.
You can watch CBS2’s debate Thursday at 7 p.m. on CBS2 and CBSN New York.
CBS2’s Dick Brennan contributed to this report.