The crowd at Eric Adams’s party cheers loudly when NY1 posts early results showing him leading Kathyrn Garcia with just 2 percent of the vote reported.
At the Dianne Morales party, songs by No Doubt, Tracy Chapman and Sister Sledge are playing. A campaign spokesperson says “the mood tonight is very optimistic and celebratory.”
No matter the primary results tonight, the mood at Dianne Morales’s election party was festive and celebratory: it also functioned as the candidate’s birthday party. (She turned 54 on Monday.)
Supporters and staff gathered at The Corners in Bedford-Stuyvesant, her neighborhood bar, and feasted on mac and cheese, fried chicken and ribs, all ordered from a local joint. Rumors of a cake floated through the room.
In an email to supporters on Tuesday night, Ms. Morales said that no matter the election results, her campaign had had a significant political impact, pushing other candidates in the race to the left and bringing thorny progressive issues, like housing for all and defunding the New York Police Department, to the election’s center stage.
“The polls aren’t closed yet, but regardless of what we find out over the coming weeks, know this: We have changed the face of New York City politics for the better,” she said.
Ms. Morales arrived, to raucous applause and a bouquet of flowers, just after 8:30 p.m. She greeted the crowd with a rousing “we did it!” and sang along to the Black Eyed Peas: “I got a feeling that tonight’s gonna be a good night.”
No major hiccups at the polls today. But all eyes are on how the city’s Board of Elections conducts ranked-choice voting rounds for the first time in a major election.
Maya Wiley’s after-party is at Kai Studios, a Black-owned business in Brooklyn. Signs outside support Black Lives Matter and commemorate Breonna Taylor. Win or lose, supporters are in a buoyant mood.
Chris Coffey, one of Andrew Yang’s campaign managers, tells NY1 that the campaign feels “really good” about turnout in areas like Flushing and Borough Park, where they think support for Yang is high.
Guests are arriving at Andrew Yang’s election night party, where staff are checking people in and requiring masks for folks who aren’t vaccinated.
“Rank Crystal Hudson No. 1 for City Council.”
“Rank Michael Hollingsworth No. 1 for City Council.”
That was the refrain outside a polling station in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn, where two leading candidates for a seat on New York’s lawmaking body are in a fierce fight. Both are running as progressives. Both embrace core liberal planks like the Green New Deal.
On a Primary Day that has the current mayor, at least, expecting disappointment for left-leaning Democrats, some of the most fired-up progressives are not even focused on the mayoral race. They are betting on council races, where they believe they can make their biggest gains.
They also say they have found that climate and environmental justice — key priorities that never rose to the top of the mayor’s race — work better as retail politics in local districts where they can be connected to specific neighborhood problems like pollution from power plants.
“The climate crisis is a winning talking point in a local municipal election,” Stylianos Karolidis, a climate activist with the New York chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America, said as he knocked on doors in Astoria, his home neighborhood, with Tiffany Cabán, who is favored to win the Council seat in the Queens district. “It’s incredibly exciting to be proving that.”
Ms. Cabán is one of six candidates D.S.A. is running for Council seats. All of them, including Mr. Hollingsworth, snagged the coveted approval of Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
“We’re opposing a new power plant in the neighborhood, because we already have high asthma rates here,” Ms. Cabán told a voter through a cracked door.
Canvassers for Jo Anne Simon, a State Assembly member running for Brooklyn borough president, have emphasized her sponsorship of a “public power” bill to authorize projects like an alternative to private utilities that charge consumers to build new infrastructure that remains reliant on fossil fuels.
And although Mr. Hollingsworth has focused mainly on housing, volunteers campaigning for him on Tuesday said he had also won support from residents fighting a pipeline through North Brooklyn and towers that would overshadow the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.
“You ask them how they’re doing, and they say, ‘Man, I just got this insane ConEd bill,’” said James Thacher, a volunteer. “And then you start talking about municipally-owned renewable energy.”
No matter the results tonight, the mood at Dianne Morales’s election party is festive and celebratory: She turned 54 on Monday. There are rumors of a cake.
We don’t have any City Council results, but the Working Families Party is heralding “a more progressive, diverse and representative” body than ever before.
The polls have now closed, and we are awaiting results of the most consequential city election in a generation.
At Eric Adams’s party at the Williamsburg club Schimanski, the music is a mix of classic 1980s songs from artists like Prince and Madonna. The venue is slowly filling up.
Reporters are trickling in to Andrew Yang’s watch party at a rooftop hotel bar in Hell’s Kitchen. But the place is still pretty empty, five minutes ahead of the doors opening.
As a teenager, Kathryn Garcia had the lyrics to Prince’s “When Doves Cry” on her bedroom wall. The song is now playing at her return watch party.
Kathryn Garcia, who’s run a staid campaign, is holding her return watch party at her sister Molly’s event space, 99 Scott, in East Williamsburg. The attached bar is called Outer Space.
Ranked-choice elections can go one of two ways. The first is that someone wins outright by earning a majority of first-choice votes. But few think that will happen in the crowded Democratic primary for mayor.
What’s more likely to happen is we’ll see candidates be eliminated over multiple rounds of counting: Each round, the candidate with the fewest votes gets cut, and his or her votes are reallocated to the candidate the voters ranked next. Watch the video above for a sense of how that works.
The race will be a “filter through which we see the next round of elections nationally,” says Representative Grace Meng, a Democrat from Queens.
Democratic strategists caution against drawing too many national conclusions from a local race, even a race in the nation’s largest city.
Kathryn Garcia stood in front of the black iron gates at Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn on Tuesday, holding a single red rose in her hand. Behind her, the sky began to clear as the sun broke through the clouds.
Slowly Ms. Garcia studied the photos and artwork, adorned with messages of heartache and pain and celebration of life that lined the fence to honor the tens of thousands of New Yorkers who died of Covid-19.
She slid the rose into mesh netting that covered the fence.
“We lost more than 30,000 people, and we need to remember that as we think about what we are going to do in the future,” Ms. Garcia said, her voice breaking. “It is a moment where we should have a lot of optimism, but every single person we lost has a family and we need to remember that.”
The cemetery was her last campaign stop on Tuesday, and Ms. Garcia said she felt positive about what she had seen and heard from voters and about the path ahead. “I want to be able to roll up my sleeves and do the work of rebuilding,” she said.
But even after a long, damp and cold day spent talking to voters, and a monthslong campaign that she started as an underdog, Ms. Garcia will not get to sleep in on Wednesday.
“My niece has a graduation at 9:30 in the morning, and I’ll be there — apparently with a gift,” she said, adding that she hadn’t bought one yet.
As Ms. Garcia headed back to her van, a runner hurried past and called out, “I ranked you No. 1.”
Andrew Yang made a number of stops across the city on Tuesday. In Brooklyn, he greeted voters in the rain amid a final, feverish push to get people to the polls.
In Washington Heights, Eric Adams took his message to union voters. He reinforced his background growing up poor and as a police officer and said rivals can’t match the broad coalition he has built.
Polls close in about an hour. But with ranked-choice voting, we’re in for a period of significant waiting before we learn the winner of the mayor’s race.
Mayor Bill de Blasio did say the Yang-Garcia alliance was “a little strange” because they don’t share similar views, and that it “created a certain amount of confusion.”
Mayor Bill de Blasio says he did not agree with Eric Adams that the Yang-Garcia alliance was about stopping a person of color from becoming mayor.
Mayor Bill de Blasio, speaking on CNN, says he is on the edge of his seat and that the mayor’s race “is going to be potentially a real nail biter.”
The final results of the primary election may not be known for weeks, but that’s not stopping the leading Democratic mayoral candidates from celebrating as at least some of the vote tallies come in.
Scott M. Stringer, the city comptroller, is watching the results at The Ribbon, a restaurant on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.
Maya Wiley, a civil rights lawyer and former counsel to Mayor Bill de Blasio, is holding a party at KAI Studio, a venue in Crown Heights, Brooklyn.
Shaun Donovan, a former housing secretary under President Barack Obama, is having a party at his campaign’s headquarters in Brooklyn Heights.
Andrew Yang, a former presidential candidate, is holding his party at Green Fig, a restaurant on the rooftop of Yotel — a hotel — in Hell’s Kitchen.
Ray McGuire, a former Wall Street executive, is having his party at the Red Rooster, a restaurant in Harlem.
Kathryn Garcia, a former sanitation commissioner, is holding her party at 99 Scott, an event space in East Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
Eric Adams, the Brooklyn borough president, is having his party at Schimanski, a nightclub near the border of Williamsburg and Greenpoint in Brooklyn.
Kathryn Garcia just arrived in Park Slope to meet her brother, Matt McIver, as he casts his ballot at William Alexander Middle School.
Don’t expect to see winners named tonight for many City Council races. Lots of the candidates are running for open seats, and ranked-choice voting will likely come into play.
in New York
In the Manhattan D.A. race, I’ll be watching to see whether either Tali Farhadian Weinstein (below) or Alvin Bragg have taken a lead.
Andrew Yang plans to cap a whirlwind campaign day with a stop in Flushing, Queens, home to many of the Asian American voters Yang has courted.
In the comptroller’s race, how will the progressive coalition put together by Brad Lander, a Brooklyn councilman, perform against the labor unions backing Corey Johnson, the City Council speaker.
And will State Senators Brian Benjamin and Kevin Parker split the Black vote for comptroller? Will the former CNBC anchor Michelle Caruso-Cabrera make inroads with Latino voters?
With most of the City Council leaving office, the primaries in dozens of races are up for grabs. Progressives are making a big push to try and get their candidates elected.
Eric Adams warmly greeted a volunteer working for Andrew Yang’s campaign during a campaign stop near the High School of Art and Design on East 56th Street.
To the many things that distinguish this Democratic primary for mayor from the last, add one more: There is likely to be no public exit polling.
Larry Rosin, president of Edison Research, the main player in the exit polling world, confirmed as much Tuesday afternoon. He said his firm would conduct no public exit polls but was conducting a private one for a client he declined to name.
Exit polling refers to the practice of surveying voters as they leave polling sites.
Mr. Rosin said it was unlikely that any other polling outfit would conduct an exit poll.
“If we aren’t doing it, it’s probably no one doing it,” Mr. Rosin said. “It’s a very arcane little corner of the research world and not many people hang out in this arcane little corner.”
Such polls tend to provide a wealth of early data.
By 11:30 p.m. on primary night in 2013, the last time there was no incumbent mayor, Edison Research was able to share data on which candidates voters chose, based on race, ethnicity, age, education and religion.
Exit polls are often commissioned by media outlets, including The New York Times. But this year, none of the usual suspects agreed to pay for exit polling, which is expensive and, in an election complicated by the new ranked-choice voting system, of questionable accuracy.
There has been an absence of credible polling throughout this primary campaign. Mr. Rosin suggested that ranked-choice voting was a factor there, too.
“It’s hard enough to project a winner of an upcoming election when it’s just first past the post,” he said.
Stu Loeser, a campaign consultant for the candidate Raymond J. McGuire, a former Citigroup executive, said exit polls “provide answers about what issues voters care about the most” and can be useful for future campaigns.
“But like any polling, it’s imperfect,” he added, particularly on rainy days like this one. “Exit polls are less effective in the rain. You’re asking people outside of polling places to stop and get rained on.”
Mayor Bill de Blasio waxed philosophical after casting his vote on Tuesday in Brooklyn. Asked if he had any advice for his successor — lessons learned, perhaps, from his tenure — or a wish list from the next administration, he replied, “How much time do you have?”
He refused to reveal the five candidates he had ranked but is believed to support Eric Adams, the Brooklyn borough president who has been leading in most polls. The mayor gave Mr. Adams what might sound to left-leaning New Yorkers like his strongest plug yet: “Is Eric Adams progressive? Oh, unquestionably. He was progressive long before it was fashionable.”
“I remember him fighting the police hierarchy” in the 1990s, Mr. de Blasio added, calling that progressive “by definition.”
But the outgoing mayor was most expansive about how progressive Democrats — he considers himself a standard-bearer, though critics consider him a disappointment — could do a better job of building on their recent successes.
They should capitalize on the ranked-voting system to form coalitions of like-minded candidates who could run together and urge voters to rank them at the top of their lists in whatever order they desire, he said.
“What’s clear is that the movement needs to become more of a movement — more coherent,” he said.
The mayor’s implication was that the consolidation of the left-leaning wing of the party behind Maya Wiley in the campaign’s closing days did not seem likely to lift her above Mr. Adams.
He likened the mayoral race to the 2020 Democratic presidential primary, “when we all watched Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren both declare, and had a sinking feeling in our stomachs” that they would split the progressive vote.
As for lessons learned, Mr. De Blasio hinted that he may have heard some of the criticism among progressives who have sometimes expressed a desire that the mayor be more decisive or a firmer leader.
“Set a clear direction,” he advised his successor. “You’ve just got to decide. People like you to be definite. They like you to be clear, even if they disagree.”
Gabriela Bhaskar/The New York Times
Desiree Rios for The New York Times
Gabriela Bhaskar/The New York Times
Hilary Swift for The New York Times
A light, steady rain began falling in the early afternoon in New York, forcing candidates, volunteers and voters to cover up. Kathryn Garcia donned a coat, while Maya Wiley went with an umbrella. Andrew Yang ended up wet.
Knicks or Nets? Giants or Jets? Yankees or Mets? After eight years with a Red Sox fan running New York City, the candidates are all about change.
The polls close at 9 p.m. tonight. We should know who is leading in the mayor’s race tonight, but we won’t have an official winner for several weeks.
Hilary Swift for The New York Times
Gabriela Bhaskar/The New York Times
James Estrin/The New York Times
Michelle V. Agins/The New York Times
Andrew Seng for The New York Times
As far as the eye could see, New York City was covered with Democratic candidates for mayor on Tuesday.
Maya Wiley rode on the back of a scooter through Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Andrew Yang interrupted a brunch on the Upper West Side. Eric Adams, by turns triumphant and tearful, basked in the sound of supporters chanting his name after he voted in Bedford-Stuyvesant.
From the Bronx to Staten Island, voters also turned out, heading to the polls to choose the Democrat who will almost certainly become the next mayor of the nation’s biggest city as it charts a still-tentative course toward recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.
The fractious primary, with more than a dozen candidates, has been filled with unknowns and is in some ways unprecedented. It is New York’s first citywide experience with ranked-choice voting, in which voters can choose up to five candidates in many of the races on this year’s ballot. Under the system, the candidate with the most first-place votes after the initial count might not be the ultimate winner, and the final results may not be known for weeks.
The devastation wrought by the pandemic, which claimed the lives of more than 30,000 city residents and wiped out over a million jobs, has raised the importance of the race, even as the scope of the losses sometimes made it hard for candidates to get the electorate’s attention.
On Tuesday, at least, they had it.
“You have to win,” a voter in the Bronx told Kathryn Garcia.
“I’m working on it,” she replied.
Cindy Schreibman, a Manhattan voter who said she had ranked Mr. Adams first and Ms. Garcia second, spelled out the stakes.
“This city’s on the precipice — it could go down, it could go up, it could stay the same,” Ms. Schreibman, 64, said. “What I’m very, very passionate about is as a lifelong New Yorker, making sure that this city is safe, clean, and fair.”
The race remained fluid. Mr. Adams, the Brooklyn borough president and a retired police captain whose emphasis on public safety during a spring marked by a spike in gun violence seemed to gain traction, has led narrowly in recent polls.
But Mr. Yang, the exuberant former presidential candidate; Ms. Wiley, a former City Hall counsel and MSNBC legal analyst; and Ms. Garcia, a no-nonsense former sanitation commissioner, all have a shot. A city that boasts of its diversity seems likely to have its first Asian, first female or second Black mayor.
New Yorkers were also voting in primaries for Manhattan district attorney, one of the most influential elected law-enforcement posts in the nation; comptroller and public advocate, two citywide offices that often function as government watchdogs; and City Council and borough president.
Registered Democrats make up two thirds of the city’s 5.6 million voters, and with no broadly popular Republican candidate, the victor in the Democratic mayoral primary is all but certain to succeed Mayor Bill de Blasio, a two-term Democrat being forced to leave office by term limits.
Turnout seemed relatively light early in the day, with some polling places nearly empty and few snaking lines. That, too, might have had something to do with another new wrinkle: early voting for the first time in a mayoral primary. Almost 200,000 voters cast ballots in person before Tuesday. Another 220,000 requested absentee ballots.
An alliance between Mr. Yang and Ms. Garcia in the campaign’s closing days — he urged his supporters to rank her No. 2 on their ballots, and the two campaigned side by side — provided some last-minute drama. Mr. Adams and some of his allies suggested that the two had teamed up to prevent a Black or Latino candidate from becoming mayor (Mr. Adams is Black; Ms. Garcia, despite her surname, is white). Several of Mr. Adams’s opponents denounced the criticism as unfounded and cynical.
On Tuesday, a calm seemed to have settled over the race.
“We need to turn the page from the politics of attack and division,” Mr. Yang said at a morning appearance in the Bronx. Mr. Adams, likewise, dismissed what he called efforts “to create a crisis on the day of the election” at a campaign stop in Midtown Manhattan.
Katie Glueck, Alexandra E. Petri and Sean Piccoli contributed reporting.
Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez endorsed Maya Wiley for mayor of New York City this month, helping to elevate her as the strongest progressive in the race.
On Primary Day, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez revealed that Scott M. Stringer, the city comptroller, was her second choice. She made the comments in a radio interview on Hot 97 while criticizing Eric Adams, calling him “very Trumpian.”
Ms. Ocasio-Cortez spoke highly of Ms. Wiley, a former counsel to Mayor Bill de Blasio, and encouraged voters to rank her first, but she also had praise for Mr. Stringer, whose campaign lost momentum after two allegations of sexual misconduct.
“I personally have ranked Scott Stringer number two,” Ms. Ocasio-Cortez said. “I think he’s also a strong candidate from a policy perspective.”
Many of Mr. Stringer’s left-leaning allies abandoned him after Jean Kim, a campaign worker on his 2001 campaign for public advocate, accused him of making unwanted sexual advances during that race.
Ms. Ocasio-Cortez did not address the allegations. She said that the mayor’s race had been “all over the place” and that she understood that it was hard for some voters to pick five candidates to rank.
As for Mr. Adams, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez made it clear she did not support him and said that he had been “super aggressive for no reason” and was attacking people.
“He’s not even clearly committing to honor the results of the election, which is very Trumpian,” she said. “I think it’s really unfortunate.”
Mr. Adams has said on some occasions that he would accept the results of the election. But Ms. Ocasio-Cortez pointed to comments he made on Monday that raised doubts.
“He started dancing around and saying, ‘I promise no one will steal this election from me.’ That’s not the same thing,” Ms. Ocasio-Cortez said.
But Evan Thies, a spokesman for Mr. Adams, called her assertion “categorically false and irresponsible.”
“Eric has repeatedly said he would honor the results of the election, including at a debate and today,” he added. “This is a desperate tactic by a rival campaign to mislead voters at the last minute.”
When she was asked about the Manhattan district attorney’s race, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez said she had not made an endorsement, but she urged New Yorkers not to vote for Tali Farhadian Weinstein, saying she was an example of a wealthy person “trying to buy elections.”
She named Alvin Bragg and Tahanie Aboushi as strong candidates.
Eric Adams was getting a boisterous greeting from voters in Washington Heights on Tuesday afternoon when one man, Chris Ashley, challenged him over comments he made last year about gentrification that included a call for some new New Yorkers to “go back to Iowa.”
“You said definitely leave,” Mr. Ashley, a chaplain at nearby NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, said in confronting Mr. Adams over the remarks, which he made at a Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration in Harlem last year.
“Go back to Iowa, you go back to Ohio,” Mr. Adams, the Brooklyn borough president, said at the time. “New York City belongs to the people that was here and made New York City what it is.”
Putting his arm on Mr. Ashley’s shoulder, Mr. Adams said on Tuesday that his words had been misunderstood.
“We want you here,” he said, adding that it was important for people to speak to one another to work out their differences. “I love you being here.”
Mr. Ashley said he had decided to speak to Mr. Adams because the remarks still stung.
“I’m not from Iowa, I’m from Illinois, but still close enough,” said Mr. Ashley, who has lived in the city since 2010. “I have always felt welcome here, the only exception being when someone says when you’re not from here, you need to go away.”
Mr. Ashley said that while he understood Mr. Adams’s concerns about gentrification, he found the “go back” comments troubling and the candidate’s response on Tuesday condescending. He said he had not ranked Mr. Adams on his ballot and had voted for Maya Wiley.
“I know that if he’s mayor — God bless him, I hope he does a good job — but I’ll know that people like me won’t have a hearing,” Mr. Ashley said.
We talked to voters in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Crown Heights about who they picked in New York’s mayoral primary and what issues mattered most to them. From putting a woman in the office, to addressing crime on the subways, to endorsing ranked-choice voting, here’s what they told us.