What to learn about Tuesday’s election

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A polling station is believed to have started in the New York City mayor primaries on Saturday, where voters can vote for up to five candidates on June 13, 2021 in New York City, United States.

Tayfun Coskun | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

The seemingly endless race to replace New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio will cross an important threshold on Tuesday as Democrats and Republicans hold their primaries.

Given the Democrats’ dominance in urban politics, that party’s primary code will be watched closely as it will likely determine who will lead the country’s largest city from more than a year of pandemic closings and economic devastation.

While the race initially focused on Andrew Yang, the nationally recognized former presidential candidate, recent polls have shown the competition is wide open. Eric Adams, President of Brooklyn District and a retired police officer, has led the most recent polls.

Mayoral candidates Eric Adams (L) and Andrew Yang

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A total of eight major Democratic candidates and two Republicans are vying to succeed de Blasio, a progressive Democrat who, after eight years in office, is not allowed to run for a third term.

While the primary day is Tuesday June 22nd, the early voting is already in progress. The early voting opened on June 12 and ended on Sunday. Initial reports indicated that voter turnout before day one was more sluggish than expected.

Primaries are hard to predict at the best of times, but this race will likely still be in the air thanks to a change in voting rules.

For the first time this year, a ranking vote will take place during the election, in which voters can name their five preferred candidates in turn.

A polling station is believed to have started in the New York City mayor primaries on Saturday, where voters can vote for up to five candidates on June 13, 2021 in New York City, United States.

Tayfun Coskiun | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

In ranking systems, the voting slips are counted in rounds. If no single candidate is the first choice of 50% of the voters in the first ballot, the last-placed candidate is eliminated. In the next round, voters who chose the eliminated candidate as their first choice are counted as their second choice. This process is repeated until a candidate reaches the 50% mark.

A poll conducted earlier this month, which took into account the ranking poll, found that Adams would win in the 12th round. The poll, sponsored by WNBC, Telemundo 47, and Politico, found that Kathryn Garcia, a former New York sanitary officer, came in second, civil rights attorney Maya Wiley in third, and Yang in fourth.

City auditor and mayoral candidate Scott Stringer made a proposal to install portable public toilets in all parks and playgrounds in Bellevue South Park.

Lev Radin | LightRakete | Getty Images

The other key candidates on the ballot are City Comptroller Scott Stringer, nonprofit executive Dianne Morales, former Citigroup Vice Chairman Ray McGuire, and Shaun Donovan, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development under former President Barack Obama.

The Republican candidates are Fernando Mateo, a businessman and activist, and Curtis Sliwa, a talk show host and founder of the controversial crime prevention group Guardian Angels.

When it comes to fundraising, Yang tops the field with the most individual donors according to a list of campaign funding data maintained by Politico. McGuire, the favorite candidate for many on Wall Street, raised the most money.

Over the weekend, Yang and Garcia fought together against Adams in an unusual demonstration of unity to improve their odds on the ranking system. Adams accused the duo of teaming up to block a black candidate. The Yang campaign later called Adam’s racism allegation “crazy”.

The Democratic race largely focused on the candidates’ competing plans for the New York economy, as well as what they would do to curb the increasing gun violence and other crimes. Polls have shown that, with the exception of Covid-19, crime is high on voters’ lists, followed by affordable housing and racial injustice.

The latest New York Police Department data for May showed a 46.7% increase in robberies, assaults by 20.5% and shootings by 73% year over year. The murder rate over the same period was flat.

During the final debate between the candidates on Wednesday, the moderate candidate Adams clashed with the progressive Wiley over the former’s proposal to bring back the controversial stop-and-frisk police tactic.

Wiley said Stop and Frisk was racist, unconstitutional and ineffective. Adams acknowledged the practice has been overused in the past, but said that it can be effective when done correctly.

People protest on the street in front of a protest against the police at a place they call the City Hall Autonomous Zone in support of Black Lives Matter in the Manhattan neighborhood of New York City, New York, USA. 2020.

Carlo Allegri | Reuters

At another point in the debate on Wednesday, Yang challenged Adams about his record in policing. When asked how he would deal with crime in the city, Yang said he had the support of the Captains Endowment Association, a union of which Adams was once a member.

“The people you should ask about are Eric’s former colleagues in the Police Chiefs Union, people who worked with him for years, people who know him best,” Yang said. “You just recommended me as the next New York City Mayor. They think I am a better choice than Eric to protect us and our families. “

Candidates argued over whether cutting funding for the police was a good idea. Some progressives across the country, including influential MP Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, DN.Y., pushed for the end of police funding last year after the video of George Floyd’s murder by police in Minneapolis became widespread.

A participant holds a Defund The Police sign at the protest. Thousands of protesters filled the streets of Brooklyn in a massive march demanding justice for George Floyd, who was killed by Officer Derek Chauvin, and loudly calling for the police to defuse.

Erik McGregor | LightRakete | Getty Images

Morales, Wiley, Stringer and Donovan support cuts to the NYPD budget while Adams, Garcia and Yang do not, according to local Gothamist news agency. McGuire said Wednesday that he believed defusing the police as the worst idea of ​​any of his rivals.

The discussion about defusing the police sparked one of the most heated exchanges in the debate on Wednesday. McGuire, who is black, said “Black and Brown” communities did not support defusing the police.

Ray McGuire, a candidate for mayoral of NYC, speaks during a press conference on Asian American leaders and candidates for Mayor of New York City on March 18, 2021 on the National Action Network in New York City the increase in attacks on Asian Americans denounce.

Eduardo Munoz | Reuters

In response, Morales, who is Afro-Latina, said, “How dare you speak as a monolith for black and brown communities?”

“You know what, I just did it,” McGuire replied.

The candidates have also taken different positions in order to free the city from the malaise caused by Covid and the measures that have been taken to stop its spread. Some of the most vivid proposals include the various ways that candidates have suggested to bring direct relief to New Yorkers.

Yang, who campaigned for the Democratic presidential candidacy based on his proposal for a universal basic income of $ 1,000 a month for every American, presented a similar plan for New York. Yang has proposed about $ 2,000 a year for about 500,000 low-income city dwellers.

Adams and others in the race have attacked Yang for his sparse details, particularly with regards to funding his plan. Adams has proposed his own $ 1 billion plan to provide up to $ 4,000 a year in tax credit to low-income residents.

Maya Wiley, a Democratic nominee for New York City mayor, speaks during a press conference with Andrew Yang, who is also running for office, while they campaign in Brooklyn, New York on March 11, 2021.

Eduardo Munoz | Reuters

Another big business proposal comes from Wiley, whose platform calls for a “Works Progress Administration-style infrastructure, stimulus and employment program” that would include a $ 10 billion investment program.

To date, de Blasio has not given any confirmation in the race for his successor. However, the New York Times reported that the Mayor preferred Adams. The newspaper’s own support went to Garcia, whom the editorial staff described as “most qualified”.

Some personal scandals also rocked the race.

In April, Gothamist reported that a former Stringer intern, Jean Kim, alleged that Stringer repeatedly sexually abused her two decades ago. Stringer denied the allegations and coverage from investigative news agency The Intercept has cast doubts as to the veracity of Kim’s allegations, but the allegation nonetheless turned out to be detrimental to Stringer’s campaign. In June, a second woman charged Stringer with sexual harassment and unwanted advances. Stringer said he had no recollection of the alleged behavior.

For his part, Adams was checked to see if he even lived in New York City. While Adams says he lives in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn, he and his partner also own a cooperative in Fort Lee, New Jersey. Earlier this month, Politico published an investigation raising questions about Adams’ whereabouts and found that he spent nights campaigning in a government building in Brooklyn.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio waves as he delivers the State of the City speech at La Guardia Community College on February 10, 2014 in the Long Island City neighborhood of Queens, New York.

John Moore | Getty Images