The race for New York City mayor took an extraordinary turn on Wednesday when leading candidate Eric Adams gave reporters a tour of a Brooklyn apartment he owns, while rival campaigns questioned his residence and suitability for office.
One day after a Politico New York story, questions arose, highlighting apparent disagreements as to where Mr. Adams, Brooklyn City President, lives when he does not sleep in Brooklyn Borough Hall – he owns properties in Brooklyn and Fort Lee, NJ, the report reported – Mr. Adams held an emotional news conference outside a residence in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn with his son, Jordan.
He led a tour of a wood- and brick-lined apartment, showing what he described as a “small, modest kitchen” and “small, modest bathroom,” while reporters inspected the refrigerator and a sneaker collection.
The very unusual event unfolded as the race entered a tumultuous, increasingly rancorous final stretch, less than two weeks before the June 22 Democratic primary, almost destined to determine the city’s next mayor. Adams, a former police captain, has topped a number of recent polls as he pushes a message focusing on public safety, but the race appears to be floating even in recent days.
A Spectrum News NY1 / Ipsos poll released earlier this week showed that Mr. Adams led the Democratic field, followed by Andrew Yang, the former presidential candidate, and Kathryn Garcia, the former Sanitary Commissioner.
But the vote was conducted in the second half of May, and there has been little data since to record how a number of important recent developments are recorded among voters, including Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Saturday approval of Maya D. Wiley, a former lawyer for Mayor Bill of Blasio. New York City Attorney Jumaane D. Williams supported Mrs. Wiley on Wednesday.
Questions about how Mr. Adams spends his time when he’s not on the campaign track, injecting a new element of uncertainty into the race and offering fresh fodder to his opponents. Early voting begins Saturday.
“Eric Adams has a problematic record of not being completely honest or transparent with New York voters,” Ms. Garcia said in a statement Wednesday. “When we get after Covid, the last thing we need is a career politician with a hidden agenda in City Hall. Our city can not recover if the mayor lacks integrity. ”
Scott M. Stringer, the city inspector, urged Mr. Adams to release records related to his stay.
And in a rare display of committee across campaigns, Mr. Yang’s co-campaign managers a list of questions for Mr. Adams Wednesday, which they noted was meant to add to questions raised by Mrs Wiley’s team the day before.
“Why would anyone vote for a candidate who can not even be honest about where he lives?” asked Sasha Ahuja and Chris Coffey, Mr. Yang’s campaign managers as they detailed a list of ethical concerns. “How are the traffic problems in Fort Lee? What are you hiding? ”
A day earlier, Mrs Wiley’s campaign manager, Maya Rupert, had asked: ‘WTF?!?! Does Eric Adams live in New Jersey? ”
A group of journalists gathered outside Adam’s Bedford-Stuyvesant townhouse, where a table was set with coffee and vegan pastries for journalists. (Mr. Adams is a vegan vocalist.)
- Who is running for mayor? There are more than a dozen people in the running to become New York City’s next mayor, and the president will be held on June 22. Here is an overview of the candidates.
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- What is rank poll? New York City began using ranked primaries this year, and voters will be able to list up to five candidates in order of preference. Confused? We can help.
At one point, Mr. Adams unable to speak for more than a minute as he told a story that he was shot when he spoke out against racism in the police, just days after his son was born.
Mr. Adams said that was why he tried to be private about his home life.
“I realized the life I was living, my lawyer, would take his father from him,” he said. “Throughout my political career, none of my colleagues knew I had a son. I wanted to protect him from the reality of what I was doing. I became very private. ”
As he led reporters down to the basement level where the bedroom is, Mr. Adam’s journalists about keeping an eye on the squeaky first step. There were a couple of African masks on the stair ledge that looked like they were ready to be hung and a dusty smoke detector. A vacuum cleaner and broom were at the bottom of the stairs.
The bedroom smelled a little damp and there were some suits in the closet. There were three pairs of sneakers on a ledge next to his bed and a pair of pairs of slippers next to his closet. The blue duvet on the bed was rumbling and there were at least five pillows.
Even when Mr. Adams was on the defensive over housing issues, there were also signs of his continued political strength: A larger Hasidic faction supported Mr. Adams overnight as their first election for mayor, The Forward reported after the Yang campaign had previously stated that it had the support of both Satmar factions in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
On the other end of the ideological spectrum in the race, Dianne Morales, a former nonprofit director, was once a favorite of the left-leaning grassroots. But her campaign has struggled with significant internal unrest in recent weeks, which could benefit Mrs Wiley as she seeks to consolidate left-wing support.
On Wednesday, more than 40 workers were laid off, according to a tweet from a union representing staff for Mrs Morale’s campaign.
Anne Barnard and Jazmine Hughes contributed with reporting.