NEW YORK — Heavily favored Democrat Eric Adams is aiming to set the table for the general election by bringing his party together after a grueling primary.
Adams held what his campaign billed as a kickoff rally at City Hall Park, flanked by leading New York Democrats including Reps. Jerry Nadler and Tom Suozzi, along with many members of the City Council and State Assembly and Senate
The event was blessed by longtime Adams ally and outgoing Mayor Bill de Blasio, too.
Other speakers included a few notable politicians who’d endorsed others during the primary, like Rep. Grace Meng, who backed Andrew Yang; Yang was notably absent, along with any other of of Adams’ actual opponents.
“So here we are Democrats,” said Adams. “No matter what we believe, there’s one thing we all embrace: the next mayor needs to be a Democrat.”
After the rally, Adams took questions about crime and COVID. He supports a census style vaccine outreach program, especially oriented to young people, and like de Blasio, “strongly encourages” indoor mask wearing.
Adams said he was open as mayor to tougher city-enforced vaccine mandates.
“I would be open, based on the science and the numbers, to tell my businesses you need to put in a requirement,” he said. “I am open to that. Are we there right now? We are not there right now, I say.”
Adams’ opponent slammed the Democrat for glossing over crime, even during a pandemic that has data moving in the wrong direction.
“We’re talking about shots, people getting two shots of vaccine, one shot, what about the people just getting shot and suffering from lead poisoning in the city of New York,” Republican nominee Curtis Sliwa said in Corona, Queens Monday.
He continues to focus on the recent increase gang violence around the city.
Sliwa does not support a mask mandate, nor a vaccine mandate, though he strongly encourages both masking and vaccinations. He has been more active than Adams on the campaign trail so far, and feels the most pressing issue in the city is the rise in gang shootings.
Sliwa called out everyone gathered at City Hall today.
“De Blasio should be here, members of the City Council should be here,” Sliwa said. “They voted to defund the police, and see the results of this and the impact it has had on the gang unit of the NYPD.”