New York, Jun 22 (EFE).- Primary elections for mayor of New York City are being held on Tuesday with a clear focus on the Democratic contest, the winner of which will be in pole position ahead of the Nov. 2 general balloting.
The front-runner among the Democrats, retired police officer and current Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, cast his ballot at 6.30 am at a polling station in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood, joined by just a handful of fellow early risers.
Accompanied by his son and surrounded by a group of supporters who waited for him at the doors of the Thaddeus Stevens Public School, Adams said he is the best choice for getting that metropolis back on the right track.
“I’m encouraging all New Yorkers to go out and vote,” he said. “Walk your sons and daughters into the polling place. Start a legacy to ensure that we can show the city how to move forward the right way,” he told reporters at the entrance to the polling station.
An emotional Adams also shed some tears while paying tribute to his late mother Dorothy Mae Adams, who passed away during the campaign.
Tech entrepreneur and 2020 presidential candidate Andrew Yang, another of the favorites in the Democratic primary, is treating Tuesday like another campaign day and has scheduled a dozen visits to different polling places, starting at 6 am in Manhattan and finishing at 7.45 pm in Queens.
Two other Democratic hopefuls with strong polling numbers are the former commissioner of the New York City Sanitation Department, Kathryn Garcia, who allied with Yang in the final stretch of the campaign; and civil rights attorney Maya Wiley, a former adviser to current Mayor Bill de Blasio and the only progressive with a realistic chance in the primary.
The unusual Garcia-Yang alliance stems from the ranked-choice voting system being used for the first time in New York City elections, under which voters rank their preferred candidates rather than selecting only one.
When the ballots are counted, the winning candidate could simply be the one who receives 50 percent of the first-choice votes plus one.
But if none reaches that threshold after the first round of counting, then he or she will need to garner second-choice (or third- or even fourth-choice) votes through a process in which candidates with the lowest number of first-choice votes are eliminated one by one.
A total of 4.1 million New Yorkers who are registered Democrats or Republicans are eligible to participate in those parties’ respective primaries, the vast majority of whom (3.6 million) are Democrats.
Only 191,000 New Yorkers took part between June 12 and June 20 in early voting for mayor and other key offices such as the presidents of the metropolis’ five boroughs, the city’s comptroller, the Manhattan district attorney, New York City public advocate and New York City Council seats.
The Republican contest pits Fernando Mateo, director and founder of the New York State Federation of Taxi Drivers; against Curtis Sliwa, founder and chief executive officer of the Guardian Angels unarmed crime prevention organization.
But the GOP contest has attracted far less interest than the Democratic race, which has a total of 13 names on the ballot.
Polling places will close at 9 pm, but like in other recent primary elections in the city it could take days to learn the results because mail-in votes will not begin to be counted until June 29.
The winners of each party’s primaries will square off in the Nov. 2 general elections, although the Democratic mayoral nominee in that politically progressive city is expected to sail to victory. EFE