Mayoral election in New York: ex-police officer against vigilante chief

Status: 02.11.2021 03:28 a.m.

New York elects a new mayor. The Democratic candidate Adams is considered the favorite for the office. His Republican challenger: a former beret radio host.

By Antje Passenheim, ARD-Studio New York

The race is not exciting in a city with seven times as many Democratic voters as Republicans. Loud calls boom for Eric Adams. As almost mayor, the democrat has been roaming the TV shows for weeks. Brooklyn’s borough mayor enjoys the limelight.

Antje Passenheim
ARD-Studio New York

Campaign theme: Fight against crime

As an ex-police officer and working class child, Adams wears two blue collars. “People see their lives in me. The fact that I become mayor shows that a dishwasher can also become mayor,” says Adams.

The moderate Democrat competes against Republican Curtis Sliwa – a former radio host and founder of the private vigilante group “Guardian Angels”. Its distinguishing feature is a red beret on its head. Vigilante chief Sliwa only agrees with ex-policeman Adams on this point: This election is about crime.

But it is also about increasing poverty and jobs. The eight million metropolis is struggling with the devastating effects of the corona pandemic. There are great expectations for the new mayor. “It has to get better with crime. And with the number of homeless people too,” says a passerby. “Housing prices need to be brought back under control,” says one man. One woman says: “You have to invest more in the education system.”

More police in the Big Apple

The mountain of tasks is high: the deadly flash floods in September showed that the city urgently needs to prepare for the consequences of climate change. Since the Black Lives Matter protests over police violence against African Americans, many have been calling for reform. But ex-cop Adams doesn’t want fewer police officers either. “I want you on the trains, on the platform. You have to work with psychologically trained staff to stop those who try to push people onto the tracks or steal from them,” he says.

The vegan who likes to meditate accuses his challenger of agitation and racism. Sliwa is a populist and mini-Trump. “While I was protecting the people in this city, this candidate was faking crimes here,” said Adams. But the Republican, who lives with 15 cats in an apartment in Central Park, counters: Adams is elitist. He should rather stand his ground.

Both politicians want to succeed Bill de Blasio. He can no longer run as mayor after two terms in office.

New York elects a new town hall chief

Antje Passenheim, ARD New York, November 2nd, 2021 00:06 am

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