Curtis Sliwa and Eric Adams Face Off in NYC Mayoral Race

Curtis Sliwa and Eric Adams Face Off in NYC Mayoral Race

Republican candidate for New York City mayor, Curtis Sliwa, right, and Eric Adams, Brooklyn borough president and Democratic mayoral candidate smile after a debate at the ABC-7 studios in New York, Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2021.

Eduardo Munoz/Pool Photo via AP

  • Democrat Eric Adams and Republican Curtis Sliwa are facing off for mayor of New York City.
  • Adams, the Brooklyn borough president, is heavily favored to win the race. 
  • Polls in New York City close at 9 pm ET. Follow along for live results. 

What’s at stake: 

Democrat Eric Adams is facing off against Republican Curtis Sliwa in New York’s mayoral election.

The two candidates are vying to succeed current mayor Bill de Blasio after two terms in office at an immensely challenging time for the city as it continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and rebuild its economy. 

Adams, a former state senator currently serving as Brooklyn borough president, beat out numerous opponents including civil rights attorney Maya Wiley, Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia, and entrepreneur Andrew Yang in the June primary, the first held under ranked-choice voting in New York City. 

The primary showed the promise and potential of ranked choice voting, but Adams was able to prevail by just enough over Garcia with his coalition of outer-borough homeowners, Black voters, and labor unions.

Sliwa, a founder of the vigilante Guardian Angels group that patrolled the New York City subways with trademark red berets starting in the late 1970s, is heavily emphasizing public safety, in addition to tax reform and animal rights, in his campaign. 

With registered Democrats outnumbering Republicans by around eight-to-one, Sliwa’s path to victory remains remote. Adams has largely taken his foot off of the campaign gas pedal in recent months, building his national profile with cable TV interviews and weighing in on issues of the day.

The tenor of the campaign between two candidates, who hold diametrically opposite positions on almost every major campaign issue, has grown increasingly confrontational in the weeks leading up to the election, with debates between the two candidates often descending into searing insults and targeted personal potshots. 

The Big Apple’s lack of affordable housing and public safety are still top issues for Adams, a former NYPD officer of 22 years. Adams, who attained the rank of captain, vocally pushed for reforms to improve diversity and treatment of Black officers in the force — and clashed with the top brass many times in doing so — is now promising to instill a new culture at the NYPD. 

There are also major infrastructure projects underway across the boroughs having an impact over the race. Some, like the East Access Tunnel, are nearing the finish line, while others hang in the balance as Congress debates what will end up in President Joe Biden’s infrastructure bill.

Despite concerns over a depleted populous from the lows of the pandemic, New York City actually gained in population over 2020, according to the US Census. 

However, once bustling office hubs such as Midtown and the Financial District are not back to where they were pre-pandemic, leading to knock-on issues caused by the lowered foot traffic. The city is also waging a multimillion dollar global tourism campaign, with Broadway shows and other mainstay attractions recently opening up.

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