New York City mayoral candidate Eric Adams received the endorsement of a coalition of Bukharian Jewish activists in Queens this week, adding to the frontrunner’s formidable support in the Jewish community a week before the Democratic primary.
“When you sit and talk with Eric Adams, you see he really understands New York City as a whole,” Nati Elishaev, one of the endorsers, told Hamodia. “He doesn’t just focus on one group; he focuses on everybody. And I feel like he’ll bring New York City back to its glory days.”
Adams, a former NYPD captain, has shot to the top of the polls with a focus on crime-fighting, as New York City is reeling from soaring numbers of murders and shootings during the past year. And he has built ties with Jewish leaders during his years as a state senator and in his current position of Brooklyn borough president.
Sam Zirkiev, another endorser, told Hamodia he is supporting Adams because of the candidate’s “crimefighting credentials, and his long-standing relationship with the Jewish community.”
“With Eric Adams as mayor,” said Zirkiev, “the community will have a friend in City Hall.”
Adams, who says he was beaten by police as a youngster before joining the Police Department, has fought for years for reforms and racial sensitivity in the NYPD. But he has resisted progressive calls for more far-reaching reforms including defunding the Department, arguing that black communities are in fact hurt the most when police are not robustly fighting crime, and he is considered among the most moderate Democrats in the race, particularly on the issue of policing.
In his own comments at the endorsement event, held at the home of David Koptiev, Adams reiterated that the Police Department can aggressively fight crime but without overly harsh tactics.
“The prerequisite to prosperity is public safety,” Adams said. “We’re moving in the wrong direction, plain and simple. And we have to stabilize our city, and we don’t have to be heavy-handed to do it. We can change this relationship between our police and community, and rebuild their trust, and make sure that we could have public safety and justice — they go together. We’re not going to go through the days where people don’t trust their police, and we’re not going to go through the days where crimes were going to be the norm.”
While progressives have criticized Adams on policing, such as his support for a modified stop-and-frisk rather than eliminating the practice altogether, Adams has dominated recent polling. He has also dominated recent endorsements in the Orthodox community, after Andrew Yang racked up a slew of early endorsements in the community.
Yang, who led some polls early in the year by double digits, has seen his fortunes slide considerably of late. Two polls released this week show him as low as fourth.
Virtually all first-place endorsements in the Orthodox community have gone to either Adams or Yang, with Kathryn Garcia and Ray McGuire receiving support for lower-ranked votes, in this first mayoral election to use the new ranked-choice voting system.
Primary day is June 22, and early voting has already begun.