Eric Adams, a frontrunner in the Democratic primary to become New York City’s next mayor, took the unusual step of inviting reporters into an apartment in a townhouse he owns in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn on Wednesday after a Politico report raised questions about where he lives.
The investigation published Tuesday by Politico found Adams spends most nights in his office where he works as Brooklyn borough president and has offered conflicting information about where he stays otherwise.
On registration forms for the mayoral race and his 2017 borough president campaign, Adams listed a Prospect Heights co-op as his official residence, though he hasn’t lived there in nearly a decade.
He also owns a co-op in New Jersey with his partner from which he has appeared for at least one remote mayoral debate.
Following reports about the discrepancies, the Adams campaign updated city forms to include the three-story Bed-Stuy row house where his campaign advisor says he “lives in the basement apartment but rarely sleeps” due to his “hectic schedule,” but many of the neighbors told The City they had no idea he lived on their block.
Deeming the questions over his official residence bizarre, Adams gave a press conference with his 25-year-old son, Jordan, outside the Bed-Stuy building on Wednesday and then invited reporters inside for a tour of the basement apartment.
Journalists posted photos from inside—including his bedroom and a picture of the contents of his fridge—drawing skeptical comments from some on social media.
“How foolish would someone have to be to run for the mayor of the city of New York and live in another municipality?” Adams said during the tour. “My opponents who trail me, they can tell you where I’ve been: I’ve been entering Borough Hall at 1 in the morning, working until 3 or 4 with my staffers who come in because they believe … It’s no mystery where I am.”
Adams announced he was moving into his office in Brooklyn Borough Hall to combat Covid-19 last March. However, New York City is now on the verge of reopening with the state’s vaccination rate nearing 70% and infections from the virus down exponentially from the height of the pandemic.
Politico noted that while other candidates usually Zoom in from the same place, Adams has video conferenced into virtual events from at least 19 different backgrounds, including a moving car and a non-descript cubicle.
Adams, a former New York City police captain, jumped to the front of the race in polling released earlier this week. He is battling it out at the top with Andrew Yang, an entrepreneur with a significant following from his failed 2020 presidential run, who was previously leading. Both candidates are among the most moderate in the field, voicing support for expanding—as opposed to defunding—the NYPD.
What To Watch For
Early voting begins June 12 for the primary election.