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NEW YORK — New Yorkers inched closer to having a new mayor on Tuesday as residents cast their ballots in the city’s mayoral primary, the first citywide election to use ranked choice voting.

Though this year’s race looks different for New Yorkers with the introduction of ranked choice voting, and the promise that an official winner may take weeks to declare, the candidate who’d led in polling over the last few weeks ended Tuesday night with a sizeable lead after in-person and early votes were counted for first choices.

Several candidates in the race have the potential to make history if elected. The city could get its first female mayor or its second Black mayor.

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, who has been favored in several recent polls, was leading the race Wednesday morning as precincts continued to report results. He’s closely trailed by former de Blasio administration lawyer Maya Wiley and former city sanitation commissioner Kathryn Garcia, both of whom gained support in the most recent PIX11 poll. Returns showed Wiley in second place early Wednesday, followed by Garcia.

Former presidential candidate Andrew Yang conceded on Tuesday night.

Other contenders in the Democratic contest included City Comptroller Scott Stringer, former U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Shaun Donovan, former Citigroup executive Ray McGuire and nonprofit executive Dianne Morales.

In the Republican primary, Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa handily beat businessman Fernando Mateo. Because there were only two candidates in that race, ranked choice voting wasn’t a factor.

Mateo conceded just before 10:30 p.m.; Sliwa thanked supporters moments later. Sliwa’s campaign platform included stopping a rise in crime and restoring order to New York City subways.

Current Mayor Bill de Blasio, a Democrat, leaves office at the end of the year due to term limits.

What were candidates up to after the polls closed?

Before Yang conceded, it was party time for his supporters. More than 300 of them signed up for a primary night party at The Green Fig at the Rooftop at the Yotel in Hell’s Kitchen: the same neighborhood where Yang lives with his wife, Evelyn and their two sons, Christopher and Damian. 

Earlier Tuesday, Yang visited 13 polling places in four out of five boroughs, only skipping Staten Island.

“I am in a celebratory mood because we are getting a new mayor,” Yang said. “We are going to turn a new page.”

Wiley greeted voters at the Parkside Avenue subway station in Prospect Lefferts Gardens several hours before polls closed.

“We just hope to get the message out and we hope everyone steps up, comes out to vote, your voice counts,” she said.

At a primary party for Wiley, members of the media were asked to show proof of vaccination before being given a wristband for entrance. Several hundred supporters were expected. The mood was upbeat; attendees believe Wiley has a good shot at moving onto the general election and becoming the first female mayor of New York City. 

When PIX11 checked in live, Wiley was seen dancing with and hugging supporters at a jovial celebration, even as the primary’s final outcome was far from sight.

When will we know who won?

With the citywide debut of the ranked choice voting system and a mountain of absentee ballots still at least a week away from being counted, it could be July before a winner emerges in the Democratic contest.

The Board of Elections won’t include any absentee ballots in its analysis until July 6, making any count before then potentially unreliable.

When are the next key election dates?

To vote in the general election, registration applications must be postmarked no later than Friday, Oct. 8, and received by your board of elections no later than Wednesday, Oct. 13.

You can register in person at your local board of elections or any state agency participating in the National Voter Registration Act through Friday, Oct. 8.

If you recently moved or plan to before Election Day, change of address notices must be received by your new local board of elections office by Wednesday, Oct. 13.

In-person early voting for the general election will begin on Saturday, Oct. 23 and run through Sunday, Oct. 31.

Election Day will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 2.