NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — We’re inching closer to knowing who will be the next mayor of New York City.
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams is claiming victory in the Democratic primary.READ MORE: NYC Mayoral Race: Eric Adams Leads Democratic Primary With 50.5% After Absentee Vote Count
While it’s not official, it’s likely safe to say Adams will be the candidate representing his party. His closest competitor, Kathryn Garcia, conceded the race Wednesday morning.
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Standing at the Women’s Rights Pioneers Monument in Central Park, the former sanitation commissioner bowed out.
“While it is only by a razor-thin margin, Eric Adams will be the winner of the Democratic primary. I spoke to Eric earlier today and congratulated him,” Garcia said. “This campaign has come closer than any other moment in history to breaking that glass ceiling and selecting New York City’s first female mayor. We cracked the hell out of it!”
“We did shatter the glass ceiling,” Maya Wiley said.
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After declaring victory Tuesday night, Adams was all smiles marching up the Canyon of Heroes during Wednesday’s Hometown Heroes Parade.
“It’s just being out here with these first responders, and they see me as one of their own, you know. They see me as a person that has gone through what they are going through, and no one understands that better than me. This is such a perfect moment for just an everyday person to lead this city,” Adams said.
Earlier Wednesday, Adams took just short of a victory lap on the morning network news shows. He sat down with CBS This Morning and was introduced as New York’s almost mayor.
“New York is going to show America how to run cities, because I know how to run this city and I know how to lead,” Adams said.
He also weighed in on the issues, responding to a question on Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s new plan to fight gun violence.
“My first question is what took so long?” Adams said.
He later clarified on Twitter, saying, “To be clear, I’m looking forward to working with the Governor on public safety issues and support his push for State help on gun violence.”
As the ranked choice votes have been counted, Adams has maintained the lead in the primary and is projected to have his name on the Democratic ticket for the November general election. After counting absentee ballots, Adams held his lead over Garcia by some 8,426 votes. Wiley was running in third.
“All I can say to every New Yorker is now we come together,” Wiley said. “It is not over, because what we have done, and what we will do when this election is certified is celebrate.”
If Adams is certified as the Democratic candidate, he’ll face Republican Curtis Sliwa, who has already come out swinging.READ MORE: Suspect Accused Of Stabbing Eric Adams Campaign Volunteer Charged With Attempted Murder
“I’m more than happy to engage Eric Adams, who I’ve known for over 40 years and point out the chameleon nature of his candidacy. Who is the real Eric Adams? I don’t know … and I’ve known him for 40 years,” Sliwa said.
“He seemed to become a reborn, born-again law and order advocate. The difference between I and Eric Adams is I’ve been consistent,” he added.
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Sliwa is already letting loose on Adams and inviting a lively exchange.
“Every week, let’s have a debate in a different neighborhood in a different borough of the city of New York,” he said.
But with two-thirds of city voters registered as Democrat, political analysts say Sliwa’s chances are slim.
“The likelihood of a Republican being elected mayor today, not likely at all. Why? The Republican registration is down. It’s 6-1 Democrats and there is nobody who has got the star power required to win the election,” political strategist Hank Sheinkopf said.
If Adams does win, he city’s problems become his problems.
“He’s gonna have to focus a lot on crime and quality of life, which is interesting because years ago when David Dinkins was in office, that was something that he had to focus on as the first African-American mayor, and now Eric Adams being only the second in the city’s history,” Democratic political consultant Basil Smikle said.
Smikle says the next mayor would have to fight crime with possibly fewer resources.
“He has to come back and focus on crime in many ways that David Dinkins did 30 years ago, but he’s gonna have to do it while also being able to be fiscally responsible as the city has to build back from a loss of jobs and a really tough economy,” he said.
Smikle also points out that Adams ran as a moderate in what is widely regarded as a progressive town, and if he wins in November, he has to govern for everyone.
Adams had a more than 10% lead over Garcia in first choice votes in early vote counting by the Board of Elections. That lead was nearly diminished after tallying second choices in ranked choice voting.
The BOE is still under fire for its handling of ranked choice voting, mistakenly adding 135,000 test ballots to the vote count. However, proponents for the new voting option say it’s still a win for them.
“Because we avoided a runoff, we saved taxpayers $15 million. In the old system opponents want to go back to, we’d be waiting weeks for a low-turnout runoff elections, and spending an additional $15 million on it,” said Susan Lerner of Common Cause New York.
No campaign is calling for a recount. Adams has withdrawn his protective lawsuit to do so.MORE NEWS: NYC Mayoral Race: As Absentee Vote Count Continues, Lawmakers Look At Ways To Fix Troubled Board Of Elections
CBS2’s Hazel Sanchez contributed to this report.