NYC mayoral primary polls close, setting up potentially long wait for final results

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The polls closed in New York City’s hotly contested mayoral primary election on Tuesday night, but it may be several days or even weeks before final results are determined in a race that will have major implications for the city’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic and an ongoing crime wave.

A total of 13 Democratic candidates and two Republican candidates were on the ballot. The primary utilized ranked-choice voting, meaning that voters were permitted to rank up to five candidates in order of their preference. 

The New York City Board of Elections was expected to release preliminary results from early and in-person voting by Tuesday night. However, it is expected to take weeks for election officials to tally all ranked-choice and absentee ballots. A final result may not be known until July, the New York Daily News reported.

Eric Adams, a former captain in the New York City Police Department and the current Brooklyn borough president, was considered the frontrunner heading into the primary vote, according to an average of recent polls. He has pledged to lead a crackdown on gun violence and reform law enforcement tactics even as he rejected calls among some contenders to “defund” the police.

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NYC MAYORAL PRIMARY: VOTERS HEAD TO POLLS AMID SURGING CRIME, RACIAL RANCOR

Top contenders included Andrew Yang, the tech entrepreneur best known for seeking the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination in 2020, and Kathryn Garcia, the former New York City sanitation commissioner. Maya Wiley, a prominent civil rights attorney, drew support from progressives, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez ahead of the vote.

Other notable Democratic candidates included City Comptroller Scott Stringer, former U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Shaun Donovan, former Citigroup executive Ray McGuire and nonprofit executive Dianne Morales.

The primary election followed a contentious series of debates dominated by questions about how each candidate would respond to a surge of gun violence and other crime in New York City. Candidates were also pressed on their plans to rebuild New York City’s economy and revitalize the education system during the ongoing recovery.

Wiley, Stringer and Morales were among the candidates who have pledged to cut police funding if elected to office. 

Republican primary candidates included “Guardian Angels” founder Curtis Sliwa and businessman Fernando Mateo.

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The winner of the Democratic primary is considered the presumptive favorite to become the next mayor of New York City after November’s general election. Registered Democrats outnumber Republicans seven-to-one in New York City.

New York City’s current mayor, Democrat Bill de Blasio, could not run for re-election due to term limits.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.