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Adams leads Democrats early in NYC's first ranked-choice mayoral primary; Yang bows out

NBC News logo NBC News 6/23/2021 Dartunorro Clark
a man wearing a suit and tie © Provided by NBC News

Andrew Yang, the former 2020 presidential contender and businessman, dropped out of the race for New York City mayor Tuesday night, as votes among the other Democratic contenders continued to be counted.

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams had the lead late Tuesday, according to preliminary results.

It was the first time the city has used ranked-choice voting, which allowed voters to select and rank as many as five candidates. Democrats had a crowded field, but whoever wins the primary is likely to win the general election in November as Democrats outnumber Republicans in the city. However, results may not be known for up to a week.

Yang was trailing in fourth place with 11 percent of the vote and 86 percent of precincts reporting, according to the local board of elections.

NY1, a local TV news outlet, projected that Curtis Sliwa, a radio host and 1970s anti-crime activist, is the Republican nominee.

Yang bowed out matter-of-factly.

Video: NYC to vote in mayoral primary using ranked-choice voting (NBC News)


“I am a numbers guy, I am someone who traffics in what's happening by the numbers, and I am not going to be the next mayor of New York City — based upon the numbers that have come in tonight,” he told his supporters.

“I am conceding this race, though we're not sure ultimately who the next mayor is going to be, I will be very happy to work with them to help improve the lives of the 8.3 million people who live in our city.”

No other Democrats in the race had conceded late Tuesday. Incumbent Mayor Bill de Blasio, a Democrat, is term-limited.

Adams had roughly 31 percent of the vote. Civil rights lawyer Maya Wiley was at 22 percent, while the city's former sanitation commissioner Kathryn Garcia was close behind, with about 21 percent.

Yang was the early front-runner but has slipped in the polls and been replaced by Adams, a former New York Police Department captain.

Also in the race are City Comptroller Scott Stringer — who has faced sexual misconduct accusations he strongly denies — and former Citigroup executive Ray McGuire, who outspent the rest of the field and earned celebrity endorsements from the likes of Jay-Z.


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