Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams secured a solid first-place lead in the Democratic primary for mayor because his vow to bolster public safety resonated with a broad cross-section of voters in working- and middle-class neighborhoods throughout the city, Post interviews reveal.
Adams’ anti-crime message put him on top with outer-borough Democrats of all races and ethnicities in Queens, Brooklyn, The Bronx and Staten Island as well as northern Manhattan.
A case in point: Adams earned the most votes in the predominantly white 27th Assembly District in central Queens that includes Kew Gardens and Kew Garden Hills, Briarwood and College Point as well as clearly winning the borough’s largely black homeowner neighborhoods to the south.
Adams received 2,652 votes in the 27th AD, followed by Andrew Yang with 2,395 votes, Kathryn Garcia with 1,510 votes and Maya Wiley with 1,208 votes. Adams and Yang presented the strongest get-touch on crime messages on the campaign trail.
Indeed, voters said they gave Adams the nod because of concerns over rising crime and a decline in quality of life.
“Normally, I’m not a law-and-order type, but there comes a time when you have to put your foot down,” said Kew Gardens resident Anthony Franzone, 67, who voted Tuesday at PS 99/The Kew Gardens School.
He referenced the shooting murder of a young man at a notorious local hotel early New Year’s morning, which rattled residents who populate suburban-style single-family homes and co-op apartments near Queens’ civic hub — Borough Hall and the state courthouse.
“We need some law and order in the city,” Franzone said.
Another Adams voter, Jenny Mavrou, 37, said, “Everyone wants to be safe. Adams got my heart when he said safety was the number one concern, I was like, `Wow.’”
Juan Ortiz, 36, a real estate broker, said on his way to the subway, “Adams seems to have strong character. Public safety is a paramount with all that is going on. Not even the rich areas are safe right now.”
Another woman, Candace, a 60-year-old Cuban native who moved here as a child, said she was moved by Adams’ life story, when he talked about getting beat up by the cops as a youth and then joined the NYPD to improve policing.
“He’s a retired cop. When Adams talks, he sounds sincere,” Candace said while eating breakfast at the local Village Diner.
Assemblyman Daniel Rosenthal, who represents the 27th AD and backed Yang, said he was not surprised by Adams’ strong showing on his turf.
“The No. 1 issue I heard from constituents who voted was public safety and quality of life. Eric ran a good race,” Rosenthal said.
Adams also led the field on Staten Island — a borough with a large civil service population including cops, firefighters and teachers — where he finished first with 7,947 votes — 2,729 more votes than Kathryn Garcia, who came in second, with 5,218 votes.
The Brooklyn borough president finished first in two of the island’s four Assembly districts and was competitive in two others — doing well in both white and minority neighborhoods.
Brima Sylla, a teacher who is general secretary of the African Community Alliance of Staten Island, said he made Adams his first choice because the retired police captain hits the sweet spot — with the ability to both tackle crime and curb police abuses to improve NYPD-community relations.
“He’s not there to defund the police. He’s there because he was part of the police system. The police are very fundamental. He knows how to structure it in a better way where the people respect the police and at the same time the police see they need to respect the community,” Sylla said.
Alexandria Boachie-Ansah, 25, who also voted for Adams, echoed the assessment that Adams is the best candidate equipped to oversee the NYPD as a former man in blue.
“I saw him as the more likely candidate to win in comparison to Maya [Wiley],” Boachie-Ansah said. “The NYPD would be more willing to take orders from a former cop because he was in the system.”
Adams finished first in last week’s Democratic primary with 32 percent of the vote of the 800,000 votes cast in round one under the first citywide ranked choice voting election, according to unofficial Board of Elections results.
He holds a roughly 10-point lead over second place finisher Maya Wiley, a former legal counsel to Mayor Bill de Blasio, who had 22 percent of the vote and former city Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia, with 19 percent.
Adams is in a strong position to win as the elections board on Tuesday begins crunching the numbers under ranked-choice voting. During the process of elimination, the candidates with the fewest voters are cast aside and their voters’ second, third, fourth and fifth choices are transferred to the remaining candidates.
The ranking continues until only two candidates remain and a winner is declared after capturing more than 50 percent of the ranked-choice votes.
The elections board still needs to count more than 100,000 absentee or mail-in ballots to add to the ranked choice mix before providing a final tally and certifying a winner.