The city’s Board of Elections released updated preliminary numbers Tuesday—now counting absentee ballots—which show the Brooklyn Borough President leading over former Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia with 50.5 percent of votes after eight elimination rounds of Ranked Choice Voting.

Ese Olumhense

The city’s Board of Elections released an updated preliminary vote count Tuesday in the city’s primary election, showing Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams leading over former Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia with 50.5 percent of votes after eight elimination rounds of Ranked Choice Voting. Garcia and Maya Wiley, who placed second and third respectively, both conceded to Adams on Wednesday.

The new tally, which included absentee ballots, put Adams ahead by 8,426 ballots over Garcia. While official election results won’t be certified for another few days, Adams’ lead was enough to prompt the Associated Press to declare him the winner and Democratic mayoral nominee.

Read more coverage on the upcoming 2021 NYC elections here.

Some affidavit and cured ballots still need to be tallied, but likely not enough to shift the outcome of the primary race. BOE officials said Tuesday that 942 ballots are eligible to cure—a chance for voters who filled out their ballot incorrectly to fix and resubmit them—and are due back by July 14, at which points election results will be certified and an official winner declared.

“While there are still some very small amounts of votes to be counted, the results are clear: an historic, diverse, five-borough coalition led by working-class New Yorkers has led us to victory in the Democratic primary for Mayor of New York City,” Adams said in a statement Tuesday night. “Now we must focus on winning in November so that we can deliver on the promise of this great city for those who are struggling, who are underserved, and who are committed to a safe, fair, affordable future for all New Yorkers.”

Adams is expected to face off in the November general election against Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa, the presumed Republican primary winner, who had 68.1 percent of his party’s votes in Tuesday’s preliminary count, beating out rival Fernando Mateo. Democratic voters greatly outnumber Republicans in New York City, meaning Sliwa will face an uphill battle in the race for City Hall this fall. Should Adams win as many anticipate, he’ll become the second Black mayor in the city’s history.

Garcia, who campaigned as a government-savvy fixer and who had 49.5 percent of votes in the BOE’s most recent preliminary count, addressed supporters at a press conference in Manhattan Wednesday, where she congratulated Adams but noted that his win was “only by a razor-thin margin.”

“For 400 years, no woman has held the top seat at City Hall. This campaign has come closer than any other moment in history to breaking that glass ceiling,” Garcia said in her speech, in which she urged other women to run to elected office. “We cracked the hell out of it, and it’s ready to be broken.”

Maya Wiley, a former de Blasio administration lawyer who positioned herself as the more progressive Democratic candidate in the race after Dianne Morales’ left-leaning campaign was consumed by staff complaints about working conditions, also conceded the race during a press event outside the Lucerne Hotel in Manhattan, which has been the scene of a bitter fight over where and how the city should house New Yorkers experiencing homelessness.

“Though the City has continued its inhumane policy of moving men out of hotels back into congregate shelters, they aren’t giving up their fight. And neither will I,” Wiley said in a statement following her concession speech. “I didn’t run for Mayor because I wanted to be a politician and sit at a big desk. I ran because I have a mission—a mission to make the City we love more fair, more just and more affordable.”

In an earlier statement, Wiley—who after Tuesday’s updated preliminary count trailed Garcia by 12,367 votes in the seventh round of Ranked Choice Voting before being eliminated in the eight—criticized the BOE’s handling of the initial primary count.

“It would be an understatement to express dismay at the BOE’s administration of this election,” Wiley said in a statement, referring to last week’s bungle when the board released its first batch of preliminary ranked choice primary votes, only to retract them hours later, saying they’d mistakenly included some 135,000 test ballots in the initial tally.

State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins has pledged to hold hearings in the coming weeks to explore how to reform the beleaguered agency.