‘A New York story’: Eric Adams gets emotional after voting in primary

New York Elections
Eric Adams primary day voting

New York City mayoral candidate and Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams speaks after voting in the primary elections in Bedford-Stuyvesant on June 22, 2021. (Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

BROOKLYN, N.Y. — Mayoral candidate and Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams had an emotional moment after casting his ballot on primary day Tuesday.

The Democratic mayoral hopeful teared up as he reflected on the work that went into his primary campaign and the loss of his mother.

“This is a New York story, man,” Adams told reporters and supporters standing outside of his polling site at P.S. 81 in Bedford-Stuyvesant.

Adams said he brought his son to the polling site and placed his hand on his own name in homage to his mother, who took him with her to vote for Black activist and political leader Percy Sutton when he was a child in the 1970s.

“I wanted to have my son have that same experience,” he said. “Mom is gone; she transitioned a few months ago at the height of the election, and I never had the time to mourn.”

Adams paused to collect himself, wiping away tears, as he remembered his mother.

“That night when I was on the campaign trail and I got the call, and I was alone with her in the hospital room, and I heard the beeps … and then her heart stopped,” he recalled. 

Eric Adams primary day voting
New York City mayoral candidate and Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams wipes away tears after getting emotional during a speech outside of his polling site in Bedford-Stuyvesant on primary day, June 22, 2021. (Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

Adams thanked his mother for giving him the endurance he needed to reach such a momentous day.

“This city betrayed mommy. It betrayed her in health care. It betrayed her that her baby had a learning disability and did not get the resources he needed. This city betrayed her when we were fed food that we knew was bad for her health. It betrayed her when she had to work three jobs to provide for her six children. It just betrayed her, and now all these years later her son walked into a polling place and he placed her grandson’s hands on his name to run to be the mayor of the City of New York and finally stop the betrayals. That’s what this is about,” he said. 

Looking ahead, as experts warn it could be weeks before a winner in the Democratic race for mayor is determined, Adams said he’s looking forward to relaxing a bit. He plans to spend the day after primary day in his pajamas, calling family and friends who have been with him every step of the way.

“I have put my family through hell. When you think about my life, and my family members, they have gone through all of this with me … They are so happy on this day, because they have gone through a lot. Being the brother and sister of Eric Adams is a hard task,” he said with a chuckle.

Adams is among a crowded field of more than eight candidates vying for the Democratic nomination in the race to replace term-limited Mayor Bill de Blasio.

The borough president asked his supporters to not judge his success based on the outcome of the primary election.

“My success is the journey. This has been an amazing journey,” he said. “A little boy laying on the floor of the 103rd Precinct, assaulted by cops, now can become the mayor to be in charge of that same police department. I am the American dream. I am a New York story.”

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