The Associated Press on Wednesday projected Former police captain and the favorite mayoral candidate of the city’s Orthodox Jews Eric Adams as the winner of the Democratic nomination to replace Mayor Bill de Blasio, with a narrow, 50.5% lead over Kathryn Garcia, who received 49.5%.
Adams was the first choice of 31% of New York Democrats, trailed by Maya Wiley with 21%, Garcia with 20% percent, and Andrew Yang with 12%. But Garcia later benefited tremendously from the New York City Board of Elections’ cockamamie ranked-choice-voting, under which voters could rank up to five candidates in the order of their preference, then the candidate with the fewest first-choice votes is eliminated, and their votes are redistributed to the candidates ranked second on the ballots, and this process repeats until there are only two candidates left, and whoever has the most votes in this final round is the winner.
In late June, Political consultant Hank Sheinkopf told the NY Post that although Wiley and Garcia were likely to benefit from the second-ranking of their voters, Adams is most likely to receive the second rankings of Andrew Yang’s voters. “The Orthodox Jewish voters go from Yang to Adams,” Sheinkopf told the Post, noting that the city’s religious Jews were split between the two candidates. Yang’s voters were most likely to list Adams as their second choice, Sheinkopf predicted, “you’re talking thousands of voters.”
In early June, the Satmar movement in NYC announced moving its support from Yang to Adams, which was probably the decisive shift that put the lid on the former and guaranteed the victory of the latter. Adams called the endorsement “a very significant moment,” adding: “Today, receiving their endorsement, they are saying to everyone in the city that those who are elected and stood with us, we are going to stand with them.” Adams also referred to Satmar as “old friends” who “know me.”
Satmar were not necessarily convinced that Adams was their man because of the good things he had to say about Israel, but they were equally unimpressed by allegations of his relationship with Louis Farrakhan.
But pro-Zionist Orthodox Jews still needed more convincing. It turned out Adams was a friend of Israel and the Jews, including the Zionists among us. In a speech he gave during a 2016 visit to Israel with NYPD colleagues, the then-Brooklyn Borough President declared, “The State of Israel will find no better friend than the borough of Brooklyn, and strengthening our partnership is vital to advancing that friendship in the name of mutual benefit for our communities. As Brooklynites, we are not only proud to be home to the largest Jewish population outside of Israel, we are reflective of their religious, ethnic, and ideological diversity and a model for greater cultural harmony. Our interests in public safety and economic development are best enhanced when we work hand-in-hand with our allies, and I am excited about the work we will accomplish on this trip with our Israeli counterparts on these important issues.”
And during Operation Guardian of the Walls, Adams tweeted: “Today on Yom Yerushalayim, Israel came under attack from Hamas-fired rockets in Gaza. Israelis live under the constant threat of terrorism and war and New York City’s bond with Israel remains unbreakable. I stand shoulder to shoulder with the people of Israel at this time of crisis.”
Adams told the Haredi weekly Mishpacha: “I’ve visited Israel twice, I am going back again, and I am going to try to find a plot of land so it can be my retirement place. I love the people of Israel, the food, the culture, the dance, everything about Israel.” He added only half-jokingly that he was planning to retire in Israel, preferably on the Golan Heights.
Mishpacha also settled the score once and for all the rumors about Adams and Louis Farrakhan and Al Sharpton, the two pillars of Black anti-Semitism in America. They asked him about a NY Times article that revealed he once “praised Farrakhan and hung out with Sharpton.”
Adams answered honestly (although, clearly, he came prepared for that one): “If you do the math, 1993 was 28 years ago. If anyone ever had a question, is Eric anti-Semitic? Look at my 20-year run. I am not anti-Semitic and I don’t subscribe to the philosophy of the Nation of Islam. We were part of using the local members here as part of the crime-fighting initiative — we were in a different city back then, with 2,000 homicides a year, 98,000 robberies. They had a security program that was like the crisis management of today. Eric is not anti-Semitic, Eric is a friend of the Jewish community.”
Adams issued a victory statement Tuesday night, saying, “While there are still some very small amounts of votes to be counted, the results are clear: an historic, diverse, five-borough coalition led by working-class New Yorkers has led us to victory in the Democratic primary for Mayor of New York City.”
“Now we must focus on winning in November so that we can deliver on the promise of this great city for those who are struggling, who are underserved, and who are committed to a safe, fair, affordable future for all New Yorkers,” he added.
But in New York City you don’t win in November. You win the Democratic primary and then walk all over the Republican candidate – with a few noted exceptions such as John Lindsay, Rudy Giuliani, and Michael Bloomberg. Not this time, though. This time it’s Eric Adams all the way to Gracie Mansion.