MetroFocus: July 7, 2021

RANKED CHOICE RESULTS, ROUND TWO

New York City election officials have released a new ranked choice tally showing Eric Adams is the winner of the Democratic primary for mayor. The tabulation incorporated—for the first time—the votes of tens of thousands of New Yorkers who cast ballots by mail. City Limits Executive Editor Jeanmarie Evelly joins Rutgers University Associate Professor of Political Science Dr. Saladin Ambar and Conservative Color Coalition Chair Joseph Pinion to review the results and discuss what’s next for the city.

TRANSCRIPT

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> THIS IS 'METROFOCUS' WITH RAFAEL PI ROMAN, JACK FORD, AND JENNA FLANAGAN.

> 'METROFOCUS' IS MADE POSSIBLE BY -- SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III.

SYLVIA A. AND SIMON B. POYTA PROGRAMING ENDOWMENT TO FIGHT ANTI-SEMITISM.

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AND BY -- JANET PRINDLE SEIDLER.

JODY AND JOHN ARNHOLD.

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> GOOD EVENING AND WELCOME TO 'METROFOCUS,' I'M JENNA FLANAGAN.

IT TOOK LONGER THAN MOST NEW YORKERS PROBABLY WANTED OR EXPECTED, BUT THERE IS A WINNER IN THE DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY FOR MAYOR.

BROOKLYN BOROUGH PRESIDENT ERIC ADAMS WON IN THE FIRST TEST OF RANKED CHOICE VOTING.

THE BOARD OF ELECTIONS UNVEILED THE LATEST ROUND OF UNOFFICIAL BALLOT RESULTS.

IT GAVE ADAMS WHAT APPEARS TO BE A SOLID BUT THIN LEAD, ALLOWING THE ASSOCIATED PRESS TO DECLARE HIM THE WINNER AND, IN AN OVERWHELMINGLY BLUE CITY, ERIC ADAMS IS ON TRACK TO GO INTO NOVEMBER TO DETERMINE WHO IS THE CITY'S NEXT MAYOR.

BEFORE THAT HAPPENS, THERE IS JUST SO MUCH TO DISCUSS, INCLUDING THE LATEST RESULTS AND THE CLOUD OF CONTROVERSY HANGING OVER THE BOARD OF ELECTIONS.

SO, LET'S GET THE CONVERSATION STARTED WITH OUR PANEL OF EXPERTS.

NOW, FIRST, WE WELCOME TO THE PROGRAM, JEANMARIE EVELLY.

JEANMARIE, WELCOME TO 'METROFOCUS.'

THANK YOU SO MUCH.

I'M HAPPY TO BE HERE.

I'D ALSO LIKE TO WELCOME BACK SALADIN AMBAR, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF POLITICAL SCIENCE AT RUTGERS UNIVERSITY AND A SENIOR SCHOLAR AT THE SCHOOL'SINGLETON INSTITUTE OF POLITICS.

WELCOME BACK, PROFESSOR AMBAR.

HI, JENNA.

AND OF COURSE, WE HAVE JOSEPH PINION.

HE IS A GOP TRAT GIST AND CHAIR OF THE CONSERVATIVE COLOR COALITION AND HOST OF 'SATURDAY AGENDA.'

JOSEPH, WELCOME.

GOOD TO BE HERE.

JEANMARIE, I WANT TO START WITH YOU AND ALLOW WHAT HAPPENED YESTERDAY AND WHAT EXACTLY WAS THAT ULTIMATELY GAVE ADAMS THE WIN?

SO, AS WE KNOW, IT'S BEEN A PRETTY WHIRLWIND COUPLE OF WEEKS AND WHAT HAPPENED YESTERDAY WAS WHEN THE BOARD OF ELECTIONS WAS SET TO RELEASE ITS SECOND COUNT OF PRELIMINARY VOTES NUMBERS, THAT THIS WAS THE SECOND TALLY OF RANKED CHOICE VOTING, WHICH, THIS HAS BEEN THE CITY-WIDE RACE THAT WE'VE SEEN RANKED CHOICE VOTING IN PLACE.

AND THE BOARD OF ELECTIONS RELEASED A FIRST ROUND OF PRELIMINARY NUMBERS LAST WEEK, WHICH HAD A NUMBER OF ISSUES AND CONTROVERSY SURROUNDING THAT, WHICH WE CAN TALK ABOUT, BUT YESTERDAY WAS SUPPOSED TO BE THE SECOND BATCH.

WE WAITED SORT OF PATIENTLY ALL DAY FOR IT.

OBVIOUSLY EVERYONE WAS VERY EAGER TO GET THOSE RESULTS.

THEY RELEASED THEM AROUND 7:30, 7:00 -- A LITTLE BEFORE 7:00 AT NIGHT.

BASICALLY, THE NEW TALLY SHOWED ERIC ADAMS ESSENTIALLY, AS YOU SAID, EDGING OUT KATHERINE GARCIA, WHAT HAD BEEN TRAILING HIM BY A VERY, VERY THIN MARGIN.

I THINK THAT THE FINAL COUNT CAME DOWN TO, AT THE LAST COUNT THEY RELEASED YESTERDAY, HE'S UP BY SOMETHING LIKE ALMOST 9,000 VOTES.

50.5% OF THE VOTES TO GARCIA, LIKE 49.SOMETHING, SO, IT'S A VERY TIGHT RACE, OBVIOUSLY.

BUT IT WAS ENOUGH FOR, AS YOU SAID, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS TO DECLARE ERIC ADAMS THE WINNER.

SO, OBVIOUSLY, THESE ARE NOT THE CERTIFIED ELECTION RESULTS.

THERE ARE STILL SOME BALLOTS THAT NEED TO COME INTO THE BOARD OF ELECTIONS, WHEN BALLOTS NEED TO BE FIXED AND RETURNED TO THE OF THIS POINT.

NOT A SIGNIFICANT NUMBER.

I BELIEVE THERE ARE SOME AFFIDAVIT BALLOTS OUT THERE, BUT NONE OF THESE REMAINING TALLIES ARE EXPECTED TO CHANGE THE JUT COME OF THE RACE.

AT THIS POINT, IT IS LOOKING SOLID THAT ADAMS IS GOING TO BE THE DEMOCRATIC NOMINEE AND IS GOING TO BE FACING OFF AGAINST CURTIS SLEWA IN NOVEMBER.

AND WE HAVE, TODAY ON WEDNESDAY, HAVE UPDATES, AS WELL.

KATHERINE GARCIA, WHO HAD BEEN IN SECOND PLACE AND TRAILING ADAMS BY A VERY THIN MARGIN, CONCEDED IN THE RACE THIS MORNING.

SHE HELD A PRESS CONFERENCE WEDNESDAY MORNING AROUND 10:00, REALLY THANKING SUPPORTERS, CON CONGRATULATING ERIC ADAMS AND NOTING HOW THIN THE MARGIN WAS AND HOW CLOSE SHE CAME TO WHAT SHE CALLED BREAKING THAT GLASS CEILING, GETTING VERY CLOSE, PROBABLY CLOSER THAN ANY CANDIDATE BEFORE, TO BEING THE FIRST FEMALE MAYOR.

BUT SHE CONCEDED AND MAYA WILEY RECENTLY CONCEDED, AS WELL.

I HAVEN'T HAD A CHANCE TO WATCH HER SPEECH YET, BUT SHE DID CONGRATULATE ERIC ADAMS WEDNESDAY MORNING, AS WELL, AND CONCEDE IN THE RACE.

SO, IT SEEMS AS IF THE DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY IS MORE OR LESS WRAPPED UP NOW, BUT PROFESSOR AMBAR, I WANTED TO GET YOUR TAKE AND JUST ASK, WHAT WAS IT THAT YOU THINK THAT WAS ABOUT ADAMS' MESSAGE, THE WAY HE CAMPAIGNED, WHO HE WAS REACHING OUT FOR AND THE COALITION THAT HE BUILT, THAT ULTIMATELY GAVE HIM THE WIN?

WELL, I THINK ADAMS COMES OUT OF THAT DAVID DINKINS TRADITION OF BEING A PROGRESSIVE BUT WITH STERLING MODERATE CREDENTIALS.

HE'S SOMEONE WHO SERVED IN NEW YORK CITY'S POLICE FORCE, HAS SOME -- MADE SOME PRETTY SAL YENT AND REASONABLE CRITIQUES OVER THE YEARS BUT SOMEONE WHO HAS ARTICULATED A POSITION THAT'S RELATIVELY MODERATE.

I ALSO THINK HE COMES IN THIS RACE AS SOMEONE WHO HAS ARGUED THAT HE HAS THE KIND OF EXPERIENCE TO BRING PEOPLE TOGETHER, WHICH IS ALSO, I THINK, REASSURING TO A LOT OF VOTERS IN THIS VERY DIVISIVE POLITICAL TIME.

IF I MAY, I WOULD JUST THROW OUT THAT I'VE BEEN THINKING ABOUT NEW YORK CITY'S FIRST POLICE OFFICER IN ITS HISTORY, SAMUEL BATTLE, AFRICAN-AMERICAN POLICE OFFICER, I SHOULD SAY, THE FIRST, GOING BACK TO 1911.

HISTORIC MOMENT TO THINK ABOUT WHAT OFFICERS OF COLOR HAVE FACED IN THE NEW YORK CITY POLICE DEPARTMENT AND AROUND THE COUNTRY AND WHAT THIS MOMENT MEANS TO THEM AND THOSE AROUND THE COUNTRY WHO FOUGHT TO TRY TO MAKE POLICE OFFICERS MORE INCLUSIVE AND DEPARTMENTS MORE INCLUSIVE AND MORE PROGRESSIVE AND SO WE WILL SEE, PERHAPS, WHAT AN ADAMS ADMINISTRATION PORTENDS FOR THAT.

SO, IT'S A VERY HISTORIC MOMENT AND AS JEANMARIE ALOUED TO, WITH TWO WOMEN COMING IN SECOND AND THIRD IN THIS RACE, SUGGESTS A BETTER 21st CENTURY WITH REGARD TO INCLUSIVITY IN MAYORAL ELECTIONS.

JOE, THERE'S BEEN SO MUCH TALK ABOUT THE WAY THAT ADAMS RAN HIS CAMPAIGN AND, YOU NO E, AS PROFESSOR AMBAR SAID, THE INCLUSIVITY, ET CETERA, BUT WHAT DO YOU SEE?

I SAID IN THE INTRO THAT NEW YORK AN OVERWHELMINGLY BLUE CITY, BUT IT HAS ELECTED REPUBLICAN MAYORS BEFORE.

WHAT DO YOU SEE AS THE BEST OR PERHAPS A GOOD STRATEGY FOR CURTIS SLEWA GOING FORWARD?

LOOK, I THINK THE HARD TRUTH IS THAT THE GOP AS A PARTY IN MANHATTAN, PARTICULARLY IN THE BOROUGHS, HAS NOT BUILT AN INFRASTRUCTURE THAT IS REQUIRED TO MAKE SURE THAT WE HAVE A STRONG PATHWAY TO VICTORY.

I THINK THAT MEANS HAVING THE FORESIGHT AND THE PASSION TO GO INTO COMMUNITIES WHERE WE HAVE NOT TAKEN A MESSAGE IN A VERY LONG TIME.

THAT MEANS TALKING TO DEMOGRAPHIC GROUPS THAT ARE SUSPICIOUS OF NOT ONLY THE METHOD, BUT ALSO THE MESSENGERS THAT CARRY OUT THAT MESSAGE, SO, I THINK IT GOES WITHOUT SAYING THAT FOR CURTIS OR ANY REPUBLICAN IN NEW YORK CITY TO WIN, HE'S GOING TO FACE AN UPHILL BATTLE.

I THINK, TO THE EXTENT THAT THERE IS ANYTHING WORKING IN HIS FAVOR, IT IS THE FACT THAT WE HAVE.

Reporter: SEEN THE IMPLEMENTATION OF SOME OF THE POLICIES THAT PEOPLE ON THE LEFT ADVOCATE FOR, WHICH SEEMS TO HAVE LENT ITSELF TO THE TYPES OF OUTCOMES THAT PEOPLE ON THE RIGHT HAVE WARNED AGAINST.

THIS NOTION THAT NEW YORK CITY HAS ALREADY DEFUNDED POLICE TO THE TUNE OF ALREADY A BILLION DOLLARS AND WE'VE SEEN NOT JUST HERE IN NEW YORK CITY, BUT ACROSS THE COUNTRY, THE RISE IN HOMICIDES, THE RISE IN ASSAULTS AND THOSE CRIMES, THOSE TRANSGRESSIONS, DISPROPORTIONATELY IMPACT PEOPLE OF COLOR, COMMUNITIES OF COLOR.

SO I THINK THERE IS, PERHAPS, AGAIN, IF WE SEE THIS CONTINUE THROUGHOUT THIS SUMMER AND INTO THE FALL, AN OPPORTUNITY TO HAVE THAT MESSAGE THERE, BUT I THINK, AGAIN, OVERALL, IF YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT WHAT REPUBLICANS CAN AND NEED TO BE DOING, IT REALLY NEEDS TO BE, STOP TALKING ABOUT THE POLICY, START TALKING ABOUT THE PEOPLE AND THE OUTCOMES THAT ALL NEW YORKERS DESERVE AND IF ANYONE CAN SEND THAT MESSAGE, PERHAPS THAT IN CONJUNCTION WITH, AGAIN, THE DESPAIR THAT WE SEE SPIRALING OUT OF CONTROL IN MANY PEOPLE'S LIVES IN THE AFTERMATH OF COVID-19, COULD, PERHAPS, BE THAT LIGHTNING IN A BOTTLE SCENARIO THAT COULD POWER HIM TO VICTORY.

JEANMARIE, I'M WONDERING FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF SOMEONE COVERING POLITICS IN THE CITY, WHAT ARE YOUR ANTICIPATIONS OF AN ADAMS/SLEWA CAMPAIGN COMING UP?

THERE'S BEEN SO MUCH TALK ON SOCIAL MEDIA ABOUT HOW THIS WILL BE A VERY ECCENTRIC, PERSONALITY-DRIVEN MAYORAL CAMPAIGN, PERHAPS ONE THAT WE HAVEN'T SEEN BEFORE.

FOR US REPORTERS, WE'RE ANTICIPATING THERE'S GOING TO BE A LOT TO COVER, WHICH THERE ALWAYS IN NEW YORK CITY, BUT I THINK AS YOU SAID, WITH THESE TWO PARTICULAR CANDIDATES, IT'S ALREADY BEEN A VERY INTERESTING PRIMARY SEASON IN A LOT OF WAYS, WITH ERIC ADAMS, THERE'S BEEN A COUPLE OF SORT OF HUMOROUS -- HE TOOK REPORTERS ON A TOUR OF HIS APARTMENT, IF YOU ALL REMEMBER THAT SITUATION, AFTER ISSUES ABOUT HIS RESIDENCY.

HE'S SOMEBODY WHO IS REALLY NOT AFRAID TO, I THINK, INVITE THE PRESS SORT OF INTO HIS CIRCLE AND HE, YOU KNOW, OFTEN REFERS TO HIMSELF IN THE THIRD PERSON, WHICH IS AN INTERESTING TIDBIT.

AND CURTIS SLEWA, THERE'S BEEN DISCUSSIONS ABOUT HIS RESCUE CAT, I THINK HE HAD, HE INVITED REPORTERS INTO HIS HOME, AS WELL, HE FILMED, FORGET ME IF IT WAS 13 OR 14 --

I BELIEVE IT WAS 15.

15, WOW, I WAS A LITTLE SHORT.

SO, YEAH, SO I THINK, YOU KNOW, THERE'S BEEN THESE SORT OF, YOU KNOW, ALMOST LITTLE PRESS SPECTACLES THAT OBVIOUSLY THE MEDIA KIND OF ENJOYS COVERING, RIGHT, THESE TYPES OF SITUATIONS THAT POP UP WITH THE CANDIDATES AND I THINK THEY'RE BOTH VERY STRONG PERSONALITIES AND AS WE GO INTO THE NOVEMBER GENERAL I ANTICIPATE THAT.

I DON'T THINK THE PERSONALITIES WILL GOING TO FALL AT ALL.

I'M SURE WE'LL SEE MORE OF IT.

WELL, AS WE MOVE ONTO THE OTHER RACES, THOUGH, PROFESSOR AMBAR, I WANTED TO GET YOUR TAKE ON -- THERE'S BEEN, YOU KNOW, EVEN THIS MORNING, WEDNESDAY MORNING, AS ERIC ADAMS MADE THE ROUNDS ON NATIONAL AND LOCAL NEWS IN THE AREA, HE WAS TALKING ABOUT HOW IMPORTANT IT IS THAT HE, AS A DEMOCRATIC MODERATE, SO TO SPEAK, WON THE ELECTION, YET, IF WE LOOK DOWN BALLOT AT A LOT OF THE OTHER RACE, WE SAW A LOT OF PROGRESSIVES WIN THE RACES THAT WE HELD IN THE PRIMARY.

SO, HOW DO YOU SEE NEW YORK CITY SHAPING UP AND WHAT DOES IT TELL YOU THAT THE ELECTORATE CHOSE SO MANY PROGRESSIVES FOR OTHER POSITIONS -- THE DEMOCRATS, LET ME BE CLEAR, CHOSE A MODERATE FOR THEIR CANDIDATE?

SURE.

I THINK SOME OF IT HAS TO DO WITH THE NATURE OF RANKED CHOICE VOTING, WHICH PROVIDES LOTS OF OPTIONS FOR PROGRESSIVES AND TENDS TO PERHAPS DILUTE THE VOTE OF PROGRESSIVES IN A SENSE, BUT YOU KNOW, IRR ICADAMS RAN A VERY GOOD CAMPAIGN.

I THINK WE HAVE TO GIVE HIM CREDIT FOR DOING SO AND FOR DOING THE GRASS ROOTS WORK, PARTICULARLY IN THE OUTER BOROUGHS IN WINNING SUPPORT.

SOME OF THIS HAS TO DO WITH THE NATURE OF RANKED CHOICE VOTING AND THE OTHER PART OF IT IS, IF WE LOOK BACK AT NEW YORK CITY'S HISTORY, WE LEARN THAT IT'S NOT EXACTLY THE MOST PROGRESSIVE CITY FOR ELECTING, YOU KNOW, HIGHLY PROGRESSIVE, DARE I SAY VERY LEFT-LEANING, MAYORS.

JUST NOT BEEN THE CASE.

YOU PROBABLY HAVE TO GO A WAYS BACK TO LINDSAY TO REALLY SEE SOMEONE TRULY ON THE LEFT AND CERTAINLY LaGUARDIA BEFORE HIM.

WE'VE HAD LOTS OF CONSERVATIVE, MODERATE MAYORS IN NEW YORK CITY'S HISTORY AND I THINK SOME OF THAT HAS TO DO WITH THE FACT THAT IT'S THE BUSINESS AND ECONOMIC CAPITAL OF THE WORLD, IT HAD BEEN UNTIL RECENT DAYS, ARGUABLY, AND SO, I THINK, YOU KNOW, RESIDENTS OF THE CITY, THE BUSINESS POWERS OF THE CITY, HAVE ALWAYS TENDED TO FAVOR A CANDIDATE THAT'S GOING TO REASSURE VOTERS AND BUSINESS, THAT IT'S A SAFE PLACE TO DO BUSINESS, A SAFE PLACE TO WORK AND LIVE AND SO I THINK THAT TENDS TO FAVOR MODERATE CANDIDATES.

AND DARE I SAY, EVEN THOSE ON THE RIGHT.

LIKE MICHAEL BLOOMBERG AND CERTAINLY RUDOLPH GIULIANI YEARS BEFORE HIM.

JOSEPH, WERE YOU GOING TO CHIME IN AND SAY SOMETHING?

LOOK, I THINK, ON SOME BASIC LEVEL, WE'D BE REMISS IF WE DID NOT TALK ABOUT THE FACT THAT I THINK THIS RANKED CHOICE VOTING THREW A MONKEY WRENCH INTO WHAT WOULD HAVE BEEN A TRADITIONAL TYPE OF CAMPAIGN.

I THINK YOU HAVE CAMPAIGNS THAT SPEND A LOT OF TIME PILOTING THESE TEST TUBE IDEAS ABOUT HOW TO GET PEOPLE TO PUT THEM ON THE BALLOT.

I THINK THAT IT BECOMES A BIT OF AN EXPERIENCE WHEN YOU GO FROM TELLING PEOPLE, I AM YOUR CHOICE, I AM THE ONLY CHOICE, TO TELLING PEOPLE, WHATEVER YOU DO, PUT ME SOMEWHERE ON YOUR BALLOT.

AND I THINK ERIC ADAMS WAS THE PERSON THAT RECEIVED THE MOST VOTES TO BE THEIR FIRST CHOICE FOR MAYOR.

I THINK -- AFTER TWO WEEKS, WE'VE DISCOVERED IT APPEARS HE'S STILL THE PERSON WHO HAS THE MOST VOTES, BUT I THINK FOR ME, AND A LOT OF PEOPLE, LOOKING AT THIS FROM THE 30,000-FOOT VIEW, RANKED VOICE VOTING HAS BEEN THE UNMITIGATED DISASTER WE WARNED IT WOULD BE.

YOU CAN'T MANUFACTURE EQUITY.

YOU HAVE TO WORK FOR IT.

AND THIS NOTION THAT WE CAN FIX THE EQUITY PROBLEMS WE HAVE IN THIS CITY AND IN THIS NATION BY PLAYING TIKTOK OR BINGO ON OUR BALLOTS JUST SEEMS TO ME TO BE SOMETHING THAT WE ARE PROBABLY GOING TO HAVE TO LOOK INTO SOON AND VERY SOON, BECAUSE AT THE END OF THE DAY, IT DOES APPEAR THAT THE PERSON POSITIONED TO BE THE SECOND BLACK MAYOR OF NEW YORK CITY WILL, IN FACT, ACTUALLY BE THE WINNER OF THE DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY, BUT IF THAT HAD NOT BEEN THE CASE, THERE ARE A GREAT MANY NEW YORKERS WHO WOULD HAVE SAID THIS EFFORT TO FIND EQUITY WAS NOT QUITE EQUITABLE AFTERALL.

I -- THAT IS A FAIR CRITICISM, WHICH WE HAVE HEARD FROM OTHER GUESTS AND OTHER SOURCES, AS WELL.

BUT I DO WANT TO PIVOT TO SOME OF THE OTHER RACES THAT ALSO TOOK PLACE ON THE 22nd.

SO, ONE OF THE BIG ONES, OF COURSE, WAS COMPTROLLER, THAT SEEMED TO BE A SURPRISE TO A LOT OF PEOPLE.

JEANMARIE, I JUST WANT YOU TO SORT OF LAY OUT, I GUESS, WHAT HAPPENED THERE, BECAUSE I THINK A LOT OF PEOPLE THOUGHT THAT WAS GOING TO GO IN A DIFFERENT DIRECTION.

YEAH, WELL, LOOKING LIKE BRAD LANDER HAS PRETTY MUCH DECLARED VICTORY AS THE DEMOCRATIC NOMINEE IN THE RACE, AND THAT WAS A PRETTY, I THINK, CONTENTIOUS RACE, IT TURNED A LITTLE -- YEAH, CONTENTIOUS AT CERTAIN POINTS AGAINST COREY JOHNSON.

IT WAS THE TWO OF THEM SORT OF LEADING THE PACK.

THERE WAS A LOT OF KIND OF BACK AND FORTH THROUGHOUT THE PRIMARY SEASON BETWEEN THE TWO OF THEM.

LANDER'S CAMPAIGN CAME OUT HARD AGAINST JOHNSON, SORT OF ACCUSING HIM OF BEING SORT OF ABSENT DURING BUDGET NEGOTIATIONS AND THINGS LIKE THAT, WHICH LANDER OBVIOUSLY DENIED AND COUNTERED AND LANDER HAS SINCE COME OUT WITH THE -- WITH THE TOP PRELIMINARY RANKED CHOICE VOTE SO FAR, WHICH IS LOOKING LIKE IT'S PRETTY MUCH COREY JOHNSON CONCEDED IN A STATEMENT, I BELIEVE IT WAS SENT LAST NIGHT, WHEN THE RESULTS CAME OUT, CONGRATULATING BRAD LANDER AND THAT'S PRETTY MUCH WHERE WE STAND NOW, BUT IT WAS AN INTERESTING -- THERE WAS A LOT OF SORT OF INFIGHTING IN THAT RACE.

WELL, SPEAKING OF INFIGHTING IN RACES THAT SEEM TO GET INCREDIBLY NASTY, AT LEAST TOWARDS THE END, QUEENSBORO PRESIDENT SEEMS SOMEWHAT SURPRISING AND BY THAT, I MEAN THAT THE PRESUMPTIVE WINNER, DONOVAN RICHARDS, SEEMED TO BE -- HE SEEMED TO BE MAKING SOME PRETTY NASTY TWEETS AGAINST HIS OPPONENT, ELIZABETH CROWLEY, CALLING HER RACIST, ET CETERA.

SO, FIRST OF ALL, VERY QUICKLY, FOR PEOPLE WHO DON'T KNOW WHAT THAT WAS AND I THINK THAT'S A LOT OF US, AT LEAST, JEANMARIE, CAN YOU GIVE US YOUR TAKE ON WHAT HAPPENED IN QUEENS?

TO BE HONEST, I HAVE NOT BEEN FOLLOWING THE QUEENS BOROUGH RACE, BUT IT WAS A THREE-WAY RACE BUT IT REALLY CAME DOWN TO CROWLEY AND DONOVAN RICHARDS.

AN I DID SEE THE TWEET THAT RICHARDS SENT OUT.

I WAS NOT -- I APOLOGIZE, I'M NOT FULLY VERSED IN THAT, I DON'T KNOW IF ANY OF OUR PANELISTS CAN FILL IN ON SORT OF THE ACCUSATION OF RACISM THAT CAME OUT OF THAT ONE.

IT WAS IN A TWEET THAT WAS SENT OUT SORT OF AFTER THE RESULTS CAME OUT LAST NIGHT.

WELL, IF NOT, WE CAN -- IT'S DEFINITELY SOMETHING WORTH FOLLOWING UP ON, BECAUSE IT WAS VERY, VERY BIZARRE AND SEEMED ODDLY CRYPTIC FOR SOMEONE WHO HAD JUST WON, OR SEEMINGLY WON, A PRIMARY ELECTION.

BUT UNLESS ANYBODY WANTS TO WEIGH IN ON QUEENS, WHICH I THINK WE CAN MOVE ON FROM, THE NEXT BIG ISSUE IS THE BOARD OF ELECTIONS AND SO, OKAY, JOSEPH, I'LL START WITH YOU, I MEAN, YOU POINTED OUT THAT THERE ARE AT LEAST PROBLEMS, FROM YOUR PERSPECTIVE, WITH RANKED CHOICE VOTING, BUT I THINK EVERYONE CAN AGREE THAT THERE WERE PROBLEMS WITH THE WAY THE BOARD OF ELECTIONS HANDLED THIS ELECTION, WHICH IS NOT THE FIRST ELECTION THAT WE'VE HAD TO SAY THIS ABOUT.

WELL, LOOK, I THINK THAT IT GOES WITHOUT SAYING, THERE ARE SYSTEMIC PROBLEMS AT THE BOARD OF ELECTIONS.

FIRST AND FOREMOST, WE HAVE THE FACT THAT A BODY THAT IS SUPPOSED TO BE AT THE VERY LEAST BIPARTISAN, BUT AT ITS CORE, HOPEFULLY IMMUNE TO PARTISAN POLITICS, IS ANYTHING BUT THAT.

WE SEE THIS FROM THE BEGINNING OF CAMPAIGNS TO THE END OF CAMPAIGNS.

FROM THE PROCESS TO GET PEOPLE THROWN OFF OF BALLOTS THAT, IN CONTENTIOUS, WE HAVE SIGNATURES OF VERIFIED VOTERS BEING THROWN IN THE TRASH FOR ALL MANNER OF REASONS, THE TYPE OF COST THAT IS REQUIRED TO MAINTAIN PEOPLE GETTING BACK ON THE BALLOT, SO LOOK, IN A PROCESS WHERE YOU HAVE COMMISSIONERS THAT ARE APPOINTED BY VIRTUE OF POLITICAL PARTIES WHO THEN END UP HIRING PEOPLE WHO ARE SUPPOSED TO BE QUALIFIED BUT ARE THE MOST QUALIFIED PERSON WHO FINE PRINT ALSO HAPPENS TO BE ENGAGED IN PARTY POLITICS WHO ALSO FINE PRINT IS ENGAGED IN ELECTIONS UP AND DOWN THE BALLOT IN THEIR FREE TIME, IT BECOMES ONE BIG TANGLED MESS.

AND SO I THINK THERE'S ANYTHING THAT WE NEED TO DO RIGHT NOW, IF WE TRY TO FIND A WAY TO DRUM POLITICS OUT OF THE BOARD OF ELECTIONS, TO HAVE IT TRULY BE INDEPENDENT AND NONPARTISAN, BUT YOU KNOW, ON THE FLIP SIDE, AGAIN, YOU DO SEE THE REASON WHY PEOPLE WANT TO HAVE AT LEAST SOME TYPE OF REPRESENTATION THERE, BECAUSE SO OFTEN IT DOES FIND PARTICULARLY WHAT YOU'RE LOOKING IN STATES THAT TEND TO BE MORE RED THAN BLUE OR CITIES THAT TEND TO BE MORE BLUE THAN RED, WHERE THAT MINORITY VOICE SOMETIMES CAN GET DRUMMED OUT OF THE ROOM WHEN THE PEOPLE THAT ARE IN THAT ROOM TEND TO HAVE A MORE MYOPIC, MONOLITHIC VIEW.

I DON'T NECESSARILY THINK I HAVE THE SOLUTION, BUT I CAN TELL YOU THAT WHAT WE CURRENTLY IS CERTAINLY NOT WORKING.

I DON'T KNOW IF DR. AMBAR HAS ANY THOUGHTS.

I APPRECIATE YOU TOSSING THE FOOTBALL HERE ON THAT BECAUSE I THINK YOU'RE RIGHT, BECAUSE IT IS DEEPLY PROBLEMATIC AND WORRISOME, NOT ONLY IN THIS INSTANCE, BUT THE B.O.E.'S CONNECTIONS TO PAST VOTING CHALLENGES, SHALL WE SAY, HISTORIC.

AND IT COMES AT A VERY CHALLENGING TIME WITH RESPECT TO EFFORTS, DARE I SAY, TO UNDERMINE CONFIDENCE IN DEMOCRACY, AS IF WE NEED ANYMORE EXAMPLES AS TO WHY DEMOCRACY CAN BE MESSY.

UNFORTUNATELY, THIS PROVIDES AMMUNITION FOR THOSE WHO ARE DISCOURAGED BY THE NUANCES AND TRIALS AND TRAVAILS OF ELECTIONS SUCH AS WE'VE SEEN IN THE MAYORAL ELECTION IN NEW YORK.

AND THAT'S WORRISOME FOR THE STRENGTH OF OUR DEMOCRACY OVERALL.

CERTAINLY, WE NEED NONPARTISAN INVESTIGATION, MUCH THE SAME WAY WE HAVE A COMMISSION THAT IS, YOU KNOW, OSTENSIBLY DESIGNED AT PRESENT TO LOOK INTO THE JANUARY 6th ATTACK ON THE NATION'S CAPITOL, THERE NEEDS TO BE AN AUTOPSY ON THE BOARD OF ELECTIONS TO TRY TO ROOT OUT, YOU KNOW, CORRUPTION AND MALFEASANCE AND JUST INEPTITUDE.

I THINK, IF I COULD GIVE THE NEW MAYOR OR AT LEAST DEMOCRATIC NOMINEE AN AGENDA, IT WOULD BE, YES, HELPING DEAL WITH THE DELTA VARIANT IN NEW YORK, RESTORING SOME CONFIDENCE IN THE ECONOMY, BUT CERTAINLY RESTORING CONFIDENCE IN OUR ELECTIONS IN NEW YORK CITY AND CERTAINLY, INDEED, AS AN EXAMPLE, FOR THE AND PEOPLE DO PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT HAPPENS IN NEW YORK.

I DON'T CARE WHAT STATE YOU'RE IN, THE MAYOR'S ELECTION IN NEW YORK CARRIES WEIGHT AROUND THE COUNTRY.

PEOPLE PAY ATTENTION TO IT, EVEN IF THEY JUST NOD THEIR HEAD OVER BREAKFAST AND CATCH A PEEK OF THE MORNING NEWS.

AND WHEN THEY SEE RESULTS THAT ARE HARD TO DECIPHER, WHEN THEY HEAR MALFEASANCE, IT SETS A BAD EXAMPLE FOR THE REST OF THE COUNTRY AND I THINK IT CERTAINLY HAS TO BE EXAMINED FORTHRIGHTLY.

IF I CAN JUST ADD TO THAT, I THINK THAT AT THE END OF THE DAY, LOOK, WE'VE HAD A YEAR'S LONG DEBATE ABOUT WHETHER IT'S ELECTION INTEGRITY VERSUS VOTER SUPPRESSION, ALL OF THESE THINGS, I THINK, AT THE END OF THE DAY, THE AVERAGE PERSON HAS A SMALL AMOUNT OF TIME TODY GUEST WHAT'S HAPPENING IN THE WORLD.

WHEN THEY LOOK AT NEW YORK CITY AND SEE THAT SOMEHOW, FOR REASONS PAST UNDERSTANDING, WE'VE COUNTED OVER 100,000 BALLOTS, 180,000 BALLOTS THAT AREN'T REAL BALLOTS IN THE PROCESS OF A MAJOR PRIMARY IN NEW YORK CITY, IT GIVES KRE DANCE TO THIS BELIEVE THAT ELECTIONS ARE NOT SECURE AND SOMEHOW WE NEED TO DO THINGS ABOUT THEM.

SO, I THINK, AGAIN, THIS IS WHY YOU SEE AS MUCH FOCUSED ON THE HIGHER PERCENTAGE OF PEOPLE ON THE RIGHT THAT HAVE DISTRUST OF OUR ELECTIONS, IF YOU LOOK OVERALL, WE'RE LOOKING AT NORTH OF 40% OF THE PEOPLE WHO ARE INDEPENDENTS, DEMOCRATS, NONPARTISAN, WHO HAVE CONCERNS ABOUT OUR ELECTORAL PROCESS AND THINGS LIKE THIS HAPPENING DON'T MAKE IT ANY EASIER FOR US TO RESTORE FAITH IN OUR INSTITUTIONS, PARTICULARLY OUR ELECTIONS.

OF COURSE.

WELL, WE, OF COURSE, LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING SOMETHING PERHAPS THE B.O.E. WILL HAVE SOME SORT OF SPOKESPERSON OR SOMEBODY WHO CAN COME FORWARD AND BE THE FACE, AT LEAST, OF THE ORGANIZATION AND EXPLAIN SOME THINGS A LITTLE WIT BIT, IN A MORE TANGIBLE WAY FOR THE PUBLIC.

BUT JEANMARIE, ARE OUR NEWEST GUEST, I WANT TO GIVE YOU THE LAST WORD.

AND THAT IS, PROFESSOR AMBAR LAID OUT SOME OF THE BIG ISSUES, BUT WHAT DO YOU SEE AS FOR WHOMEVER WINS IN NOVEMBER, IS GOING TO BE THE BIG ISSUE THAT NEEDS TO BE TACKLED FIRST, LIKE, WHAT DO YOU SEE AS BEING PERHAPS THE CAMPAIGN ISSUE THAT PEOPLE ARE RUNNING ON FOR THE REMAINDER OF THIS TIME?

I THINK THE OBVIOUS ONE THAT BOTH OF THE CANDIDATES THAT WE'RE GOING TO SEE COMPETING AGAINST EACH OTHER IN THE GENERAL ELECTION HAVE FOCUSED ON IS THIS IDEA OF PUBLIC SAFETY.

AND I THINK THAT A LOT OF NEW YORKERS, THERE'S DEBATE OVER WHETHER IT'S PERCEPTION OF PUBLIC SAFETY AND HOW MUCH OF THAT IS REALLY ROOTED IN, YOU KNOW, PERCEPTION VERSUS REALITY, OBVIOUSLY WE'VE HAD, YOU KNOW, THIS WEEKEND THERE WAS A HIGH NUMBER OF SHOOTINGS AND THAT IS ALWAYS BAD NEWS.

BUT THE CANDIDATES HAVE REALLY CENTERED PUBLIC SAFETY AND POLICING AND THE WAY WE SHOULD BE DEVOTING RESOURCES TO THOSE ELEMENTS IN THEIR CAMPAIGNS AND WITH BOTH OF THEM HAVING THAT BACKGROUND, ERIC ADAMS AS A FORMER NYPD OFFICER, CURTIS AS THE FORMER GUARDIAN ANGEL FOUNDER, I THINK THAT IS GOING TO BE SOMETHING THAT BOTH OF THEM ARE NOT GOING TO STOP FOCUSING ON AS WE HEAD INTO NOVEMBER AND I THINK THAT WAS SOMETHING THAT A LOT OF VOTERS WERE REALLY PAYING ATTENTION TO, AS WELL.

SO, I THINK THAT'S WHAT WE WILL BE SEEING.

I THINK THERE ARE OTHER ISSUES THAT SHOULD GET ATTENTION, AS WELL, I THINK HOUSING IS GOING TO BE A HUGE ONE, THE EVICTION MORATORIUM RUNS OUT IN AUGUST, AS WELL WE ARE, YOU KNOW, COPPING OUT OF THEED WOOS OF THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC.

WE HAVE A LOT OF TENANTS AND LANDLORDS WHO ARE SUFFERING FROM THAT.

I'M CURIOUS ABOUT HOW MUCH DISCUSSION THAT WILL TAKE UP.

OF COURSE, WE WILL BE WATCHING CLOSELY.

I'D LIKE TO THANK ALL OF MY GUESTS, JEANMARIE EVELLY, COVERING NEW YORK CITY.

ALSO THANK YOU TO PROFESSOR SALADIN AMBAR AND OF COURSE THANK YOU TO JOSEPH PINION, CHAIR OF THE CONSERVATIVE COLOR COALITION AND HOST OF 'SATURDAY AGENDA.'

IT IS GREAT TO HAVE ALL OF YOU ON TO HELP US MAKE SENSE OF AT LEAST THE CONCLUSION OF NEW YORK CITY'S PRIMARIES FOR MAYOR.

THANK YOU SO MUCH.

THANK YOU.

THANK YOU, JENNA.

APPRECIATE IT.

> 'METROFOCUS' IS MADE POSSIBLE BY -- SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III.

SYLVIA A. AND SIMON B. POYTA PROGRAMING ENDOWMENT TO FIGHT ANTI-SEMITISM.

THE PETER G. PETERSON AND JOAN GANZ COONEY FUND.

BERNARD AND DENISE SCHWARTZ.

BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG.

THE AMBROSE MONELL FOUNDATION.

AND BY -- JANET PRINDLE SEIDLER.

JODY AND JOHN ARNHOLD.

CHERYL AND PHILIP MILSTEIN FAMILY.

JUDY AND JOSH WESTON.

DR. ROBERT C. AND TINA SOHN

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