Mr. Adams held off Kathryn Garcia after a count of 118,000 absentee ballots saw his substantial lead on primary night narrow to a single percentage point.
Eric L. Adams, who rose from poverty to become an iconoclastic police captain and the borough president of Brooklyn, won the Democratic nomination for mayor of New York City on Tuesday, according to The Associated Press, putting him on track to become the second Black mayor in the history of the nation’s largest city.
The contest was seen as one of the city’s most critical elections in a generation, with the winner expected to help New York set a recovery course from the economic devastation of Covid-19 and from the longstanding racial and socioeconomic inequalities that the pandemic deepened.
But as the campaign entered its final months, a spike in shootings and homicides drove public safety and crime to the forefront of voters’ minds, and Mr. Adams — the only leading candidate with a law enforcement background — moved urgently to demonstrate authority on the issue.
Mr. Adams held an 8,400-vote lead over Kathryn Garcia, a margin of one percentage point — small enough that it was not immediately clear whether she or any of his opponents would contest the result in court. All three leading candidates had filed to maintain the option to challenge the results. If no one does so, Mr. Adams’s victory could be certified as soon as next week.
The results came after the city’s Board of Elections counted an additional 118,000 absentee ballots and then deployed a ranked-choice elimination system — the first time New York has used it in a mayoral election.
Thirteen Democratic candidates were whittled down one by one, with the candidate with the fewest first-place votes eliminated, and those votes were redistributed to the voters’ next-ranked choice. Maya Wiley, a former counsel to Mayor Bill de Blasio who emerged late in the primary as a left-wing standard-bearer, was eliminated following the seventh round of tabulations.
Ms. Garcia won far more of Ms. Wiley’s votes than Mr. Adams did, but not quite enough to close the gap.
Still, it was a striking result for Ms. Garcia, a candidate who until recently was little known and who lacked the institutional support and the political operation that helped propel Mr. Adams, a veteran city politician.
In heavily Democratic New York City, Mr. Adams will be the overwhelming favorite in the general election against Curtis Sliwa, the Republican nominee and the founder of the Guardian Angels.
“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,” Mr. Adams, 60, said in a statement.
“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,” he added.
Neither Ms. Garcia nor Ms. Wiley has conceded, and their campaigns noted that the results were not yet completely final.
“Today, we have nearly final results for Democratic primary for mayor,” a Garcia campaign statement said. “We are currently seeking additional clarity on the number of outstanding ballots and are committed to supporting the Democratic nominee.”
The final-round matchup between Mr. Adams and Ms. Garcia illustrated sharp divisions within the Democratic Party along the lines of race, class and education.
Mr. Adams, who cast himself as a blue-collar candidate, led in every borough except Manhattan in the tally of first-choice votes and was the strong favorite among working-class Black and Latino voters. He also demonstrated strength with white voters who held more moderate views, especially, some data suggests, among those voters who did not have college degrees — a coalition that has been likened to the one that propelled President Biden to the Democratic nomination in 2020.
Ms. Garcia, a former sanitation commissioner who ran on a message of technocratic competence, had strong appeal to white moderate voters across the five boroughs.But she was overwhelmingly the candidate of Manhattan, dominating in some of the wealthiest ZIP codes in the country. She strongly appealed to highly educated and more affluent voters across the ideological spectrum there and in parts of brownstone Brooklyn, even as she struggled to connect with voters of color elsewhere in the kinds of numbers it would have taken to win.
The results capped a remarkable stretch in the city’s political history: The race began in a pandemic and took several unexpected twists in the final weeks. Most recently, it was colored by a vote-tallying disaster at the Board of Elections, leaving simmering concerns among Democrats about whether the eventual outcome would leave voters divided and mistrustful of the city’s electoral process. In a statement Tuesday night, Ms. Wiley thanked her supporters and expressed grave concerns about the Board of Elections.
“We will have more to say about the next steps shortly,” the statement said. “Today we simply must recommit ourselves to a reformed Board of Elections and build new confidence in how we administer voting in New York City. New York City’s voters deserve better, and the B.O.E. must be completely remade following what can only be described as a debacle.”
Under the ranked-choice voting system, voters could rank up to five candidates on their ballots in preferential order. Because Mr. Adams did not receive more than 50 percent of first-choice votes on the initial tally, the winner was decided by ranked-choice elimination.
Ms. Garcia came in third place among voters who cast ballots in person on Primary Day and during the early voting period, trailing both Mr. Adams and Ms. Wiley. But on the strength of ranked-choice voting, she surged into second place, with significant support from voters who had ranked Ms. Wiley and Andrew Yang, a former presidential candidate, as their top choices.
Ms. Garcia and Mr. Yang spent time during the final days of the race campaigning together and appearing on joint campaign literature, a team-up that plainly benefited Ms. Garcia under the ranked-choice process after Mr. Yang, who began the race as a front-runner but plummeted to fourth place on Primary Day, dropped out.
Ms. Wiley, a favorite of younger left-wing voters, had sought to build a broad multiracial coalition, and she earned the support of some of New York’s most prominent Democratic members of Congress.
Mr. Adams and Ms. Garcia both ran as relative moderates on policy issues, including policing, education and their postures toward the business and real estate communities.
Mr. Adams especially put issues of public safety at the center of his campaign,pushing for urgent action to combat a rise in gun violence and troubling incidents of subway crimes as well as bias attacks, especially against Asian Americans and Jews. While crime rates are nowhere near those of more violent earlier eras, policing still became the most divisive subject in the mayoral race.
Mr. Adams took a more sweeping view of the Police Department’s role in ensuring public safety than a number of rivals did.
But some older voters had first heard about Mr. Adams when he was a younger member of the police force, pushing to rein in police misconduct.
That background helped him emerge as a candidate with perceived credibility on issues of both combating crime and curbing police violence. And some Democrats, aware that national Republicans are eager to caricature their party as insufficiently concerned about crime, have taken note of Mr. Adams’s messaging — even if his career and life story are, in practice, difficult for other candidates to automatically replicate.
“What Eric Adams has said quite well is that we need to listen to communities that are concerned about public safety, even as we fight for critical reforms in policing and racial justice more broadly in our society,” said Representative Sean Patrick Maloney, a New York Democrat and the chairman of the Democratic House campaign arm, who endorsed Mr. Adams the day before the primary.
While Mr. Adams was named the winner on Tuesday night, he faces significant challenges in unifying the city around his candidacy. He has faced scrutiny over transparency issues concerning his tax and real estate disclosures; his fund-raising practices and even questions of residency, issues that may intensify under the glare of the nominee’s spotlight, and certainly as mayor, should he win as expected in November.
Michael Gold, Dana Rubinstein and Emma G. Fitzsimmons contributed reporting.
A new letter from Morabito Consultants, the structural engineering firm hired by the Champlain Tower South condominium board to perform structural analysis on the building, to Board President Jean Wodnicki and Property Manager Scott Stewart in October 2020 provides a nine-page summary of the “Phase 11A Work performed at Champlain Towers South (CTS)” and offers additional insight into the repair work being performed on the building in the years leading up to last week’s deadly collapse.
Concrete Protection & Restoration Inc. (CPR), a company that provides commercial and industrial concrete restoration services, performed the work with assistance from Morabito Consultants — who said they reviewed and, in some cases, directed the work — in the letter that was obtained by CNN’s “Erin Burnett OutFront.”
Here are some key things included in the letter:
Morabito Consultants noted that full restoration and repair work on the pool corbel and wall repair work in the pool pump room could not be performed, stating in the letter that “areas of deteriorated concrete appeared to penetrate deep into wall/corbel construction” and that “aggressive excavation of concrete at the severely deteriorated pool corbel could affect the stability of the remaining adjacent concrete constructions.”
Another reason given for the work not being completed was that “proper ICRI (International Concrete Repair Institute) compliant repairs” required access to the inside of the pool, which, according to the document, “was to remain in service for the duration of this work.”
All the loose concrete around the perimeter of the pool pump room that showed signs of cracking, spalling, deterioration and presented a “fall hazard” was removed by the concrete restoration firm, according to the work summary.
In a letter from April of this year to the building residents, Wodnicki discussed the exponential deterioration of concrete that had taken place in the interim years between the initial survey done by Morabito Consultants from 2018 to 2021.
“The concrete deterioration is accelerating,” wrote Wodnicki. “The observable damage such as in the garage has gotten significantly worse since the initial (2018) inspection,” CNN previously reported.
There is currently no indication that the concrete deterioration was a contributing factor to the collapse of the building last month, but it does highlight some the major repair work needed at the Champlain Tower South condominium complex.
The firms also performed “exploratory demolition” in five areas on the first floor of the property and reported finding “some curious results as it pertained to the structural slab’s depth,” in the summary document. Additional details were not provided to explain what the “curious results” were, but Morabito Consultants did request “that additional core work be performed by CPR to confirm/clear-up said results” in the letter.
Detailed in the summary were several other projects completed by CPR during the Phase 11A work, which included removing a deteriorated stair column base and replacing the bottom with “a new HSS Steel section.”
The company also conducted exploratory demolition on a hung soffit, which Morabito Consultants said requires “removal and reconstruction of soffit itself due to the conditions observed.”
Remedial demolition work was also performed on the balcony soffits of 114 units within the complex. CPR removed “all ‘loose’ cracked, spalled, deteriorated, and delaminated concrete and all deteriorated, debonded, or failing stucco,” from the balconies of residents.
The existence of this letter and details of the work performed were first reported by USA Today.
CNN has reached out to Morabito Consultants and Concrete Protection & Restoration Inc. for comment but have not received a response.
There has also been no response to attempts by CNN to contact Wodnicki, Stewart and other representatives of the Champlain Towers South condo association.
Remember: While this document provides some additional understanding into the nature of the repair work being done prior to the collapse, there are still many unknowns surrounding the work that had yet to be completed on the building as the condo association prepared for its 40-year certification.
The full scope of the concrete work needed by Champlain Towers South remains unclear, as does the specific work contracted to Morabito Consultants and CPR and whether that work had been scheduled or was in the process of being completed.
Watch CNN’s Tom Foreman detail the 2020 letter here:
The New York City Board of Elections on Tuesday released a new tally of votes in the Democratic mayoral primary, suggesting that the race between Eric Adams and his two closest rivals had tightened significantly.
But just a few hours after releasing the results, the elections board issued a mysterious tweet revealing a “discrepancy” in the report, saying that it was working with its “technical staff to identify where the discrepancy occurred.”
The message seeded further confusion about the outcome, plunging the closely watched contest — New York City’s first mayoral election to use ranked-choice voting — into fresh uncertainty.
Under the ranked-choice voting system, if no candidate receives more than 50 percent of the votes in the first round of voting, the winner is decided by a process of elimination: As each of the lower-polling candidates are eliminated, their votes are reallocated to whichever candidate those voters ranked next, and the process continues until there is a winner.
On election night, Mr. Adams held a significant advantage. But in the unofficial tally released on Tuesday, Mr. Adams, the Brooklyn borough president, led Kathryn Garcia by just 15,908 votes, a margin of around two percentage points. Maya D. Wiley, who came in second place in the initial vote count, was close behind in third place.
And the results may well be scrambled again — with any of the leading three candidates still competitive — as the Board of Elections awaits a count of around 124,000 Democratic absentee ballots. Once they are tabulated, the board will take the new total that includes them and run a new set of ranked-choice elimination rounds, with a final result not expected until mid-July.
Some Democrats, bracing for an acrimonious new chapter in the race, are concerned that the incremental release of results — and the discovery of some unspecified possible error — may stir distrust of ranked-choice voting and sow divisions along racial and class lines when the outcome is ultimately announced.
If elected, Mr. Adams would be the city’s second Black mayor, after David N. Dinkins. Some of Mr. Adams’s supporters have already cast the ranked-choice process as an attempt to disenfranchise voters of color, an argument that intensified among some backers on Tuesday afternoon and is virtually certain to escalate should he lose his primary night lead to Ms. Garcia, who is white.
Surrogates for Mr. Adams have suggested without evidence that an apparent ranked-choice alliance between Ms. Garcia and another rival, Andrew Yang, could amount to an attempt to suppress the votes of Black and Latino New Yorkers; Mr. Adams himself said that the alliance was aimed at preventing a “person of color” from winning the race.
In the final days of the race, Ms. Garcia and Mr. Yang campaigned together across the city, especially in neighborhoods that are home to sizable Asian American communities, and appeared together on campaign literature.
Ms. Garcia appeared to benefit from that late alliance: In the results released Tuesday, Ms. Garcia collected 29.4 percent of Mr. Yang’s votes once he was eliminated; Mr. Adams won 24.8 percent, and Ms. Wiley took 10.2 percent.
To advocates of ranked-choice voting, the round-by-round shuffling of outcomes is part of the process of electing a candidate with broad appeal. Mr. Adams has said that he would accept the results of the election, even as he and his allies have long been critical of ranked-choice voting.
But if Ms. Garcia or Ms. Wiley were to prevail, the process — which was approved by voters in a 2019 ballot measure — would likely attract fresh scrutiny, with some of Mr. Adams’s backers and others already urging a new referendum on it.
In its own statement, Mr. Adams’s campaign expressed concerns around “irregularities” between the vote total released by the Board of Elections on primary night versus the vote total they released for Tuesday’s tabulation, among other issues. The difference is more than 100,000 votes, Mr. Adams said, adding that the campaign was seeking clarity from the Board of Elections.
This year was the first time that New York City’s mayoral primaries used the ranked-choice voting system, which allows voters to rank as many as five choices in preferential order. If no contender wins more than 50 percent of the first round of votes, the winner must be decided by examining voters’ secondary choices.
While it is difficult, it is not unheard-of for a trailing candidate to eventually win the race through later rounds of voting — that happened in Oakland, Calif., in 2010, and nearly occurred in San Francisco in 2018.
The winner of New York’s Democratic primary, who is almost certain to become the city’s next mayor, will face Curtis Sliwa, the founder of the Guardian Angels, who won the Republican primary.
According to the tabulation released Tuesday, Ms. Wiley, a former counsel to Mayor Bill de Blasio, nearly made it to the final round. She netted 29.3 percent of the vote, just 4,000 votes behind Ms. Garcia, before being eliminated in the penultimate round of the preliminary exercise.
The release of Ms. Wiley’s supporters heavily benefited Ms. Garcia, a former sanitation commissioner, in the final tally; half of Ms. Wiley’s votes went to Ms. Garcia, 19 percent went to Mr. Adams, and the remaining votes were not allocated to either.
After the count of in-person ballots last week, Ms. Garcia had trailed Ms. Wiley by about 2.6 percentage points. Asked if she had been in touch with Ms. Wiley’s team, Ms. Garcia suggested there had been staff-level conversations.
“The campaigns have been speaking to each other,” Ms. Garcia said in a phone call on Tuesday afternoon, saying the two candidates had not yet spoken directly. “Hopefully we don’t have to step in with attorneys. But it is about really ensuring that New York City’s voices are heard.”
Rob Richie, the president of FairVote, a national organization that promotes ranked-choice voting, noted that 23 percent of ballots tallied so far did not rank either candidate. If that pattern holds for the 124,000 absentee ballots, then Ms. Garcia would need to beat Mr. Adams about 58-42 percent on the remaining 100,000 or so ballots.
“That’s a pretty big shift from where it is now, where Adams is two points ahead of her,” he said.
But Ms. Garcia has already come close to closing a 12-point election-night gap during the ranked-choice elimination rounds. He said that Ms. Wiley could not be counted out, either.
“If I were Wiley, I wouldn’t concede today,” he said. “If I were Garcia I wouldn’t concede, and I’d say, ‘Let’s count all the votes.’”
Ms. Wiley ran well to the left of Ms. Garcia on a number of vital policy matters, including around policing and on some education questions. Either candidate would be the first woman elected mayor of New York, and Ms. Wiley would be the city’s first Black female mayor.
“I said on election night, we must allow the democratic process to continue and count every vote so that New Yorkers have faith in our democracy and government,” Ms. Wiley said in a statement on Tuesday. “And we must all support its results.”
Mr. Adams, a former police captain and a relative moderate on several key issues, was a non-starter for many progressive voters who may have preferred Ms. Garcia and her focus on competence over any especially ideological message.
But early results suggested that Mr. Adams had significant strength among working-class voters of color, and some traction among white voters with moderate views.
City Councilman I. Daneek Miller, an Adams supporter who is pressing for a new referendum on ranked-choice voting, suggested in a text message on Tuesday that the system had opened the door to “an attempt to eliminate the candidate of moderate working people and traditionally marginalized communities,” as he implicitly criticized the Yang-Garcia alliance.
“It is incumbent on us now to address the issue of ranked voting and how it is being weaponized against a wide portion of the public,” he said.
Other close observers of the election separately expressed discomfort with the decision to release a ranked-choice tally without accounting for absentee ballots.
“There is real danger that voters will come to believe a set of facts about the race that will be disproven when all votes are in,” said Ben Greenfield, a senior survey data analyst at Change Research, which conducted polling for a pro-Garcia PAC. “The risk is that this could take a system that’s already new and confusing and increase people’s sense of mistrust.”
Dana Rubinstein, Anne Barnard, Andy Newman, Jeffery C. Mays and Mihir Zaveri contributed reporting.
The deadly collapse of the Champlain Towers South condominium building near Miami has raised questions about the safety of similar buildings along South Florida’s beaches, where salt air tends to eat away at steel and concrete structures.
On Saturday morning, Mayor Daniella Levine Cava of Miami-Dade County announced a 30-day audit of all buildings 40 years and older under the county’s jurisdiction, which includes Miami and neighboring towns, like Surfside, where the building fell.
The collapsed building was about to undergo repairs to fix “major structural problems” an engineer had identified in 2018 in a pool deck and parking garage undergirding the structure. The repairs were part of a “recertification” every building in the county must undergo at 40-year intervals.
“We want to make sure that every building has completed their recertification process,” Ms. Cava said. “And we want to make sure to move quickly to remediate any issues that may have been identified in that process.” She urged other Florida cities to do the same with buildings within their borders.
The 40-year review was put in place after the federal Drug Enforcement Agency building collapsed in downtown Miami in 1974, killing seven people. (Engineers later blamed it on an overloaded parking garage.) Under the program, once a building reaches 40 years, a licensed engineer or architect must inspect it for structural problems and certify it is fit for occupancy.
The mayor of Surfside, Charles W. Burkett, said on Saturday morning he had not seen the 2018 inspection report that identified cracks and crumbling concrete in a pool deck and in a parking garage at the Champlain Tower South building’s base.
“Once I review it, I’ll give you my thoughts,” he said in a telephone interview.
It remained unclear when town officials became aware of the inspection report. On Friday evening, Mr. Burkett said at a town commission meeting that the collapse had caught local officials by surprise.
“No one ever dreamed that this building had these problems,” he said. “There was something very, very seriously wrong with the construction of this building.”
Mr. Burkett maintained on Friday that he did not see problems with other similar condo buildings and hotels in Surfside. The town has about “20, plus or minus” 12-story buildings, condos, rental apartments and hotels, overlooking the ocean, he said.
“There is not a lot of probable cause to believe that those kinds of problems could exist in the other ocean front buildings in Surfside,” he said.
Yet, the mayor said he understood that condominium dwellers in the community might be rattled. “I think if I were a condo dweller after something like this, I certainly would have questions rolling around in the back of my head about the safety of any building,” he said.
Three years before the deadly collapse of the Champlain Towers South condominium complex near Miami, a consultant found evidence of “major structural damage” to the concrete slab below the pool deck, as well as cracking and crumbling of columns, beams and walls of the parking garage under the 13-story building.
The engineer’s report, which was also emailed to the town, helped shape plans for a multimillion-dollar repair project that was to start soon, but the building suffered a catastrophic collapse in the middle of the night on Thursday, trapping sleeping residents in a massive heap of debris.
The complex’s management association had disclosed some of the problems after the collapse, but it was not until city officials released the 2018 report late Friday that the full extent of the concrete and rebar damage — most of it probably caused by years of exposure to the corrosive salt air along the South Florida coast — became apparent.
“Though some of this damage is minor, most of the concrete deterioration needs to be repaired in a timely fashion,” the consultant, Frank Morabito, wrote about damage near the base of the structure as part of his October 2018 report on the 40-year-old building in Surfside, Fla. He did not say that the structure was at risk of collapse, though he noted that the needed repairs would be aimed at “maintaining the structural integrity” of the building and its 136 units.
Mayor Charles W. Burkett of Surfside said on Saturday morning that the town had received the report by email in 2018 — he wasn’t sure who was the recipient — but that he did not know what, if any, steps were taken to examine the problems further.
“Of course there should have been follow up,” he said of the 2018 report. “And I don’t know that there wasn’t. I think we need to understand exactly what happened at that time.”
Kenneth S. Direktor, a lawyer who represents the resident-led association that operates the building, said this week that the repairs had been set to commence, based on extensive plans drawn up this year.
“They were just about to get started on it,” he said in an interview, adding that the process would have been handled much differently if owners had any indication that the corrosion and crumbling — mild instances of which are relatively common in many coastal buildings — were a serious threat.
“It’s upsetting to see these documents because the condo board was clearly made aware that there were issues,” Ms. Salzhauer said. “And it seems from the documents that the issues were not addressed.”
As the search for victims of the collapsed Champlain Towers South condominium complex in Surfside, Fla., stretched into its third day, smoke and debris permeated the air, posing potential health risks.
“The air quality is a concern,” Alan R. Cominsky, chief of Miami-Dade County Fire Rescue, said at a Saturday morning news conference. “We still have ventilation fans that we have set up in specific areas, and we use them to the best that we can.”
Since Wednesday night, billows of smoke have emanated from the area, and the search and rescue team has routinely extinguished small fires that have ignited amid the rubble.
The smoke and debris surrounding the partially collapsed 13-story condominium have created a logistical challenge as the search for survivors continues and a potential health hazard for Surfside residents.
“There are respiratory concerns,” said Erika Benitez, a spokeswoman for Miami-Dade Fire Rescue. “We ask people to stay indoors, and limit their exposure outside.”
The fine particles in smoke released from fires can penetrate the lungs and lead to a host of health concerns, such as burning eyes, running nose, and more long-term issues like chronic heart and lung diseases, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. People with pre-existing respiratory issues, pregnant women and the elderly are particularly susceptible to bad air quality.
“The smoke is everywhere,” said Marisa Arnolf Stuzbercher, 45, who lives about 10 minutes from the collapsed building. “And no one here is wearing a mask.”
Ms. Arnolf Stuzbercher said that she had not received any direct instruction from the local authorities on what to do.
Miami-Dade Fire Rescue warned the town’s residents on Friday evening via social media about health risks.
“If you live near the area of the Surfside building, you may be experiencing smoky conditions, which can affect those with respiratory conditions,” the department tweeted.
Officials also instructed residents to stay indoors with windows and doors shut. Residents were advised to keep air conditioning on, to help with air circulation.
Smoke from a fire deep within the debris of the collapsed Champlain Towers South condominium in Surfside, Fla., has created severe difficulties for search and rescue workers, Mayor Daniella Levine Cava of Miami-Dade County said Saturday morning.
No further victims were found overnight or early Saturday, the mayor said at a news briefing. Officials have accounted for 127 people who were at the building at the time of the collapse; 159 remain unaccounted for. And four people have been confirmed dead.
“As you heard, we’re facing incredible difficulties with this fire. The fire has been going on for a while. It’s a very deep fire,” she said. Workers have not yet been able to isolate the fire’s source, and the growing smoke from below the rubble has made it difficult for searchers to locate people presumed trapped.
Erika Benitez, a spokeswoman for the Miami-Dade Fire Department, said Saturday morning that it had been a while since rescue workers had heard sounds of people from beneath the rubble. But she said officials are still holding out hope. “The search and rescue is an operational assessment. If we’re continuing to do so, it’s because we feel it’s possible” people are alive.
Search and rescue workers are using infrared technology, foam and water, the mayor said. Teams also created a trench to try to isolate the fire and continue to search for victims in the part of the rubble rescue teams have access to.
“The world is watching, and we thank everyone for their prayers, their support,” Mayor Cava said. “We feel it.”
This story is developing.
The Grand Beach Hotel in Surfside, Fla., just a few blocks from the site of the collapse of the Champlain Towers South condos, has been turned into a makeshift community of families united by their shared grief.
The hotel has been designated the reunification center for those awaiting word about the fate of 159 people believed to have been in the building who remain unaccounted for. Every four hours family members receive updates from search and rescue officials.
But as the days since the collapse have stretched on, they have struggled to maintain optimism that missing loved ones might still be found alive.
“It feels like a nightmare, none of this feels real,” said Zoila Benezra, 57, who lives at the nearby Marbella Condominium building. “Everyone’s just been waiting.”
The anxious families spent all of Thursday and Friday morning at the Surfside community center, which was the original location of the reunification center. On Friday afternoon, they were given pink wristbands and asked to move to the hotel.
Family members occasionally left the center to talk to reporters waiting outside. Some showed photos of their missing relatives on their cellphones and shared details about their lives.
Magdaly Ramsey said her 80-year-old mother, Magdaly Delgado, had lived in Apt. 911 in the building for the past 10 years. Her mother loved movies and traveling, and the two had plans to celebrate her next birthday together in Napa, Calif., in October, Ms. Ramsey said.
“I’m a big believer in faith and prayers,” she said as she stood outside the center. “We’re hoping for the best, but we’re expecting the worst.”
The crowd also included people with no connection to the victims.
Carol Hudson, 73, who lives down the road from the Champlain Towers complex, came to the community center on Friday afternoon to figure out how she could help. “If I didn’t know where my parents were, or my kids were, even for a day, I’d go nuts,” Ms. Hudson said.
“I feel the pain,” said Ms. Hudson. “I just feel the pain.”
In the lobby of the Grand Beach Hotel, people paced and back forth, occasionally turning to emergency workers in the hope that they might have more news.
The mood was simultaneously anxious and somber on Friday evening. People arrived with covered trays of food for the families.
At a conference room across the street, people gathered around tables laden with food, water, soft drinks, diapers and other supplies. Some hugged each other deeply. Men could be seen praying in an apartment next door.
Others seemed to have begun to lose hope. One woman consoled another, wrapping her arms around her shoulder and telling her gently, in Spanish, to try to calm down.
When did it happen?
Survivors said they were jolted awake at about 1:30 a.m. on Thursday by fire alarms, falling debris and the feeling of the ground trembling.
How many people have died?
At least four people were killed. The authorities fear many more fatalities.
How many are unaccounted for?
As many as 159 people were unaccounted for as of Saturday, officials said. The authorities have stressed that the numbers might shift as the authorities figure out how many people were actually in the building.
How many have been rescued?
About 35 people were rescued from the intact part of the building, and two were pulled from the rubble, said Ray Jadallah, a Miami-Dade Fire Rescue assistant fire chief.
How tall was the building?
The tower was 13 stories tall; about half of the 136 units collapsed.
When was it built?
It was constructed in 1981, according to county property records.
How many people live in Surfside, Fla.?
The town, just north of Miami Beach, has about 5,600 residents.
In the hours immediately after much of the Champlain Towers South condominiums collapsed, the authorities evacuated two nearby buildings, an 18-story condominium tower and a seven-story hotel.
But no action had been taken by Friday at the fallen building’s nearly identical sister a few hundred yards up the beach — Champlain Towers North. Both buildings went up in 1981 in Surfside, Fla., just north of Miami Beach. The complex has a third building, Champlain Towers East, erected in 1994.
The mayor of Surfside, Charles W. Burkett, said on Friday afternoon that he was worried about the stability of the north building but that he did not feel “philosophically comfortable” ordering people to evacuate.
He was speaking at a town commission meeting called to formally declare a state of emergency in Surfside, which Mr. Burkett said would give the town access to state and federal funds.
“We have a lot of circumstantial evidence to lead us to believe that there could be issues at the sister building, Champlain Towers North,” Mr. Burkett said. “The layout of the building is the same as Champlain Towers South. It has the same name. It was probably built by the same builder, and it was probably built with the same materials. I can’t tell you, I can’t assure you, that the building is safe.”
Still, Mr. Burkett said he thought the decision to evacuate should be voluntary. He added that had not yet spoken with residents in the building.
Mr. Burkett, an independent, said he had decided on this approach after talking with elected officials in Washington and in Miami.
James McGuinness, who is in charge of Surfside’s building department, told the commissioners that construction crews had been working on the roof of the south building before it collapsed, but he said he saw no evidence that the roof work had contributed to the disaster.
“There was no inordinate amount of materials on the roof that would cause this building to collapse,” Mr. McGuinness said.
Mr. McGuinness said workers had been making repairs to the roof and to anchors on the corners that hold ropes used by window cleaners.
The condominium association had hired engineers to work on a review of the structural integrity of the building and its electrical systems, he said.
Miami-Dade County requires these inspections at intervals of 40 years, Mr. McGuinness said, but the work on the anchors on the roof were not related to the recertification process.
He said the town of Surfside had not yet received the 40-year inspection report from the building’s owners. Commissioners at the meeting said Surfside had no indication that anything was wrong with the building.
Documents released by the town on Friday afternoon, however, showed that an engineering consultant had warned the building’s owners in 2018 about “major structural damage” to a concrete slab below a pool deck as well as crumbling and cracked concrete beams, columns and walls in a parking garage beneath the structure.
A progressive challenger running her first campaign was poised on Tuesday to beat Buffalo’s four-term Democratic mayor in a primary upset that would upend the political landscape in New York’s second-biggest city and signal the strength of the party’s left wing.
The challenger, India B. Walton, is a former nurse and community activist who ran with the support of the Democratic Socialists of America and the Working Families Party. She was leading Byron Brown, a longtime member of the Democratic establishment, by 7 percentage points, or about 1,500 votes, as of midnight with all of the in-person ballots counted, according to unofficial results.
Should Ms. Walton, 38, win the primary and then triumph in the general election November — a likely result in heavily Democratic Buffalo — she would be the first socialist mayor of a major American city since 1960, when Frank P. Zeidler stepped down as Milwaukee’s mayor. She would also be the first female mayor in Buffalo’s history.
Ms. Walton celebrated her victory in a jubilant call to her mother that was captured on video, yelling, “Mommy, I won. Mommy, I’m the mayor of Buffalo. Well, not until January, but, yeah.”
Mr. Brown, who once led the state’s Democratic Party and is a close ally of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, declined to concede despite the margin separating him from Ms. Walton.
“We’re going to make sure every single vote is counted,” he said. (Ms. Walton’s campaign estimated that there were about 1,500 absentee ballots outstanding.)
Ms. Walton showed no such hesitation in declaring victory, highlighting what she said were the race’s national ramifications. She said the stunning outcome would “resound here in Buffalo and throughout the nation, showing that a progressive platform that puts people over profit is both viable and necessary.”
“Tonight’s result proves that Buffalonians demand community-minded, people-focused government, and we’re ready to serve them,” Ms. Walton said in a statement. “For too long, we’ve seen our city work for politicians, for developers, for the police union, but not for ordinary working families. In our city, everyone will have a seat at the table.”
Ms. Walton has said her priorities as mayor would include adopting so-called sanctuary city rules to safeguard undocumented immigrants, introducing more robust protections for tenants and ending the role of police officers in most mental health emergency calls.
She has also criticized Mr. Byron’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic and helped lead protests in the city last year over the police killing of George Floyd.
Mr. Brown, 62, did not campaign vigorously, according to his opponents, and he refused to debate Ms. Walton. He has appeared regularly with Mr. Cuomo at the governor’s news conferences in Western New York to promote the state’s economic reopening.
Ms. Walton, in turn, relied on an intense grass-roots organizing operation, a formidable fund-raising effort and backing from some of the governor’s most vocal foes, including the Working Families Party and Cynthia Nixon, who waged an unsuccessful primary campaign against Mr. Cuomo in 2018.
When the New York City mayoral primary campaign began, the city was steeped in grave uncertainty about its future. Candidates laid out radically different visions for how they would guide a still-shuttered metropolis out of overlapping crises around public health, the economy and racial injustice.
But as voters head to the polls on Tuesday, New York and its mayoral race have changed. The city is well on its path to reopening even as new problems have surged to the fore. Now, a different kind of political uncertainty awaits.
No Democratic candidate is expected to reach the threshold needed to win outright under the city’s new ranked-choice voting system, and it may be weeks before a Democratic primary victor — who would become an overwhelming favorite to win the general election in November — is officially declared.
New Yorkers on Tuesday will also render judgments on other vital positions in primary races that will test the power of the left in the nation’s largest city. The city comptroller’s race, the Manhattan district attorney’s race and a slew of City Council primaries, among other contests, will offer imperfect but important windows into Democratic attitudes and engagement levels as the nation emerges from the pandemic in the post-Trump era.
But no results will be more carefully watched than the race to succeed Mayor Bill de Blasio, a contest that has been defined by debates over public safety, the economy, political experience and personal ethics and that in its final weeks became intensely acrimonious.
Eric Adams, the Brooklyn borough president; Kathryn Garcia, a former sanitation commissioner; Maya Wiley, a former counsel to Mr. de Blasio; and Andrew Yang, a former presidential candidate, were considered leading Democratic contenders, though the race remained fluid and strikingly contentious.
If no single candidate receives more than 50 percent of the vote on the first tally, the eventual nominee will be determined by rounds of ranked-choice voting, through which New Yorkers could rank up to five candidates in order of preference.
The winner of the Democratic nomination will face either Fernando Mateo, a restaurateur, or Curtis Sliwa, the founder of the Guardian Angels, in the general election.
Shaun Donovan, a former federal housing secretary; Raymond J. McGuire, a former Citi executive; and Scott M. Stringer, the city comptroller, who all benefited from heavy spending on television on their behalf, were hoping to show unexpected strength through the ranking process. Dianne Morales, a former nonprofit executive, once appeared poised to be a left-wing standard-bearer, but her standing suffered amid internal campaign turmoil.
No issue dominated the race more than public safety, as poll after poll showed combating crime was the most important issue to New York Democrats.
Sparse public polling suggested that Mr. Adams, a former police captain who challenged misconduct from within the system — part of a complex career — attained credibility on that subject in the eyes of some voters, which will have been a crucial factor if he wins.
But Ms. Wiley repeatedly challenged Mr. Adams from the left on policing matters, expressing skepticism about adding more officers to patrol the subways and calling for greater investments in the social safety net and less in the Police Department budget. She emerged as a favorite of left-wing leaders and progressive voters.
Mr. Yang and Ms. Garcia shared Mr. Adams’s criticisms of efforts to scale back police funding, and those three candidates also frequently addressed quality-of-life issues across the city.
But if the race was defined in part by clashes over policy and vision, it also had all the hallmarks of a bare-knuckled brawl. Mr. Adams faced intense criticism from opponents over transparency and ethics, tied to reports concerning his tax and real estate holding disclosures and fund-raising practices. And Mr. Yang stumbled amid growing scrutiny of his knowledge of municipal government as rivals sharply questioned his capacity to lead.
The ugliest stretch of the contest came in its last days, as Mr. Adams declared that Mr. Yang and Ms. Garcia, who formed an apparent alliance, were seeking to prevent a Black candidate from winning. His allies went further, claiming without evidence that the actions of those candidates amounted to voter suppression.
By contrast, the comptroller’s race has flown below the radar. But it has attracted national left-wing engagement: Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, among others, backed Councilman Brad Lander, helping coalesce left-wing energy in that contest, far earlier than in the mayor’s race.
Understand the N.Y.C. Mayoral Race
The race remained unsettled heading into Primary Day, with City Council Speaker Corey Johnson; Michelle Caruso-Cabrera, a former CNBC anchor who unsuccessfully challenged Ms. Ocasio-Cortez last year; and a slew of other Democratic candidates also competing for the role.
In the Manhattan district attorney’s race, the two leading candidates were believed to be Tali Farhadian Weinstein, who clerked for Merrick B. Garland, now the United States attorney general, and for Justice Sandra Day O’Connor and worked as a federal prosecutor; and Alvin Bragg, who served as a federal prosecutor and as a chief deputy to the state attorney general. The race will not be decided by ranked-choice voting, and the winner may be called on Tuesday night.
The New York chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America stayed out of the mayor’s race altogether, but did emphasize a series of high-profile City Council races with the potential to remake the ideological balance of the Council.
For months, many New Yorkers tuned out the mayor’s race, distracted by the challenges of winter in a pandemic and burned out by the presidential election.
But the final stretch has been hard to miss, culminating in a frenzied five-borough battle over the direction of the city, with exchanges between candidates that turned acridly personal in the final weeks.
The race was also complicated by strategizing around ranked-choice voting. In one of the most unusual and closely watched dynamics of the final stretch, Mr. Yang encouraged his voters to support Ms. Garcia as their second choice on their ballots. Ms. Garcia insisted that she was not endorsing Mr. Yang even as they attended events together, jointly greeting voters and passing out shared campaign literature.
Some of Ms. Garcia’s allies privately acknowledged that the decision to appear with Mr. Yang could discomfit progressives who disdained him but were open to her. But they also saw opportunities to convert some voters who liked both Mr. Yang and Mr. Adams, and Ms. Garcia was not shy in discussing her motivation: She wanted Yang voters to rank her second.
The New York City mayor’s race began in the throes of a pandemic, in a shuttered city convulsed by a public health catastrophe, economic devastation and widespread protests over police brutality.
Now, with voters heading to the primary polls on Tuesday, New York finds itself in a very different place. As the city roars back to life, its residents are at once buoyed by optimism around reopenings, but also anxious about public safety, affordable housing, jobs — and the very character of the nation’s largest city.
The primary election marks the end of an extraordinary chapter in New York’s history and the start of another, an inflection point that will play a defining role in shaping the post-pandemic future of the city. The leading mayoral candidates have promoted starkly divergent visions for confronting a series of overlapping crises, making this primary, which will almost certainly determine the next mayor, the most significant city election in a generation.
Public polling and interviews with elected officials, voters and party strategists suggest that on the cusp of Tuesday’s election, Eric Adams, the Brooklyn borough president, is the front-runner, fueled by his focus on public safety issues and his ability to connect in working- and middle-class communities of color.
Yet even on the last weekend of the race, the contest to succeed Mayor Bill de Blasio appears fluid and unpredictable, and credible polling remains sparse.
Two other leading candidates, Andrew Yang and Kathryn Garcia, campaigned together on Saturday in Queens and Manhattan, a show of unity that also injected ugly clashes over race into the final hours of the election, as Mr. Adams accused his rivals of coming together “in the last three days” and “saying, ‘We can’t trust a person of color to be the mayor of the City of New York.’”
Mr. Yang, at a later event, noted that he had been “Asian my entire life.” (Mr. Adams later clarified that he meant that Mr. Yang and Ms. Garcia were trying to prevent a Black or Latino candidate from becoming mayor.)
The primary election will ultimately offer a clear sense of Democratic attitudes around confronting crime, a major national issue that has become the most urgent matter in the mayoral primary.
And it will reveal whether Democrats are in the mood to “reimagine” a far more equitable city through transformational progressive policies, as Maya D. Wiley is promising, or if they are more focused on everyday municipal problems.
In recent polls and last-minute fund-raising, Ms. Garcia, the city’s former sanitation commissioner, and Ms. Wiley, a former counsel to Mr. de Blasio, seem to be gaining late traction, while Mr. Yang, a former presidential candidate, remains a serious contender even amid signs that his momentum may have stalled.
But other factors may muddy the outcome.
For the first time in New York City, the mayoral nominee will be determined by ranked-choice voting, which allows New Yorkers to rank up to five candidates in order of preference. Some New Yorkers remain undecided about how to rank their choices, and whether to rank at all.
And with many New Yorkers accustomed to a primary that usually takes place in September, it is not at all clear what the composition of a post-pandemic June electorate will look like.
For such a high-stakes election, the contest has felt at once endless and rushed. For months, it was a low-key affair, defined by dutiful Zoom forums and a distracted city.
But if there has been one constant in the last month, it has been the centrality of crime and policing to the contest.
“Public safety has clearly emerged as a significant issue,” said Representative Hakeem Jeffries, New York’s highest-ranking House member, when asked to name the defining issue of the mayor’s race. “How to balance that aspiration with fair, respectful policing, I think has been critical throughout the balance of this campaign.”
Six months ago, few would have predicted that public safety would be the top issue of the race, only a year after the“defund the police” movement took hold in the city. Crime rates are far lower than in earlier eras, and residents are confronting a long list of challenges as the city emerges from the pandemic.
Mr. Adams, Ms. Garcia, Mr. Yang and Raymond J. McGuire, a former Citi executive, vigorously disagree with the “defund the police” movement. But no one has been more vocal about public safety issues than Mr. Adams, a former police captain who has declared safety the “prerequisite” to prosperity.
Mr. Adams, who had a complex career at the Police Department and battled police misconduct as a leader of 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement Who Care, an advocacy group, says that he was once a victim of police brutality himself, and argues that he is well equipped to manage both police reform and spikes in violence.
In recent weeks, however, Mr. Adams has come undergrowingscrutiny over questions of transparency and ethics tied to taxes and disclosures around real estate holdings. That dynamic may fuel doubts about his candidacy in the final days, as his opponents have sharply questioned his judgment and integrity.
If he wins, it will be in part because of his significant institutional support, as a veteran politician with union backing and relationships with key constituencies — but also because his message connects at a visceral level in some neighborhoods across the city.
“Mr. Adams! You got my vote!” Blanca Soto, who turns 60 on Monday, cried out as she walked by an Adams event in Harlem on Thursday.
“I am rooting for him because he’s not going to take away from the police officers,” said Ms. Soto, a health aide, who called safety her top issue. “I do want to see more police, especially in the subways. We had them there before. I don’t know what happened, but everything was good when that was going on.”
Mr. Stringer, the city comptroller; Shaun Donovan, a former federal housing secretary; Ms. Morales, a former nonprofit executive; and Ms. Wiley have taken a starkly different view on several policing matters. They support varying degrees of cuts to the Police Department’s budget, arguing for investments in communities instead. The department’s operating budget has been about $ 6 billion. Ms. Wiley, Mr. Stringer and Ms. Morales have also been skeptical of adding more police officers to patrol the subway.
Ms. Wiley argues that the best way to stop violence is often to invest in the social safety net, including in mental health professionals, violence interrupters and in schools.
Rival campaigns have long believed that she has the potential to build perhaps the broadest coalition of voters in the race, but polls suggest that she has not yet done so in a meaningful way.
Mr. Jeffries, who has endorsed Ms. Wiley and campaigned with her, said that she offers change from the status quo, “a fresh face” who is both prepared “and is offering a compelling vision for investing in those communities that have traditionally been left behind.”
Mr. Jeffries has said that he is ranking Mr. Adams second, and that if Mr. Adams were to win, it would be on the strength of Black and Latino communities “who have increasingly felt excluded from the promises of New York City, as it has become increasingly expensive.”
A number of campaigns and political strategists see Latino voters as the crucial, late-breaking swing vote, and the leading candidates all see opportunities with slices of that diverse constituency, with candidates including Mr. Adams and Ms. Wiley airing new Spanish-language ads in recent days — an Adams spot criticizes Ms. Garcia in Spanish — and Mr. Yang spending Thursday in the Bronx, home to the city’s largest Latino population.
Mr. Yang, who would be the city’s first Asian American mayor, is betting that he can reshape the electorate by engaging more young, Asian American and Latino voters as he casts himself as a “change” candidate.
Mr. Yang was a front-runner in the race for months, boosted by his strong name identification and air of celebrity, as well as a hopeful message about New York’s potential and an energetic in-person campaign schedule.
But as New York reopened and crime became a bigger issue in voters’ minds — and as Mr. Yang faced growing scrutiny over gaffes and gaps in his municipal knowledge — he has lost ground.
His tone in the homestretch is a striking departure from the exuberant pitch that defined his early message, as he sharpens his criticism of Mr. Adams and tries to cut into his advantage on public safety issues. Mr. Yang, who has no city government experience, has also sought to use that outsider standing to deliver searing indictments of the political class.
Ms. Garcia has moderate instincts — she was one of the fewleadingmayoral candidates to favor President Biden as her first choice in the presidential primary — but she is primarily running as a pragmatic technocrat steeped in municipal knowledge.
She has been endorsed by the editorial boards of The New York Times and The New York Daily News, among others, and has generated palpable traction in politically engaged, highly educated corners of the city, like the Upper West Side, even as Mr. Stringer and Mr. Donovan have also vied for the government experience mantle.
“I don’t think New York does that well, as progressive as I am, with a series of progressives who think that we should spend more time dealing with those kinds of issues rather than actual stuff that needs to be done,” said William Pinzler, 74, as he prepared to vote for Ms. Garcia at Lincoln Center. “Kathryn Garcia picked up the garbage.”
But Ms. Garcia, who has struggled to deliver a standout moment during several televised debates, is in many ways still introducing herself, and it is not yet clear whether she can attract the same kind of support citywide.
Asked what lessons national Democrats may take from the results of Tuesday’s contest, Representative Grace Meng, who has endorsed Mr. Yang as her first choice and Ms. Garcia as her second, and appeared with them on Saturday, pointed to questions of both personal characteristics and policy visions.
“How much people prioritize a leader with experience or vision to get us out of the pandemic, but also to address issues like public safety and education — I think that it’ll kind of be a filter through which we see the next round of elections nationally,” she said. “Wherever they may be.”
Wimbledon chief has told Gary Neville he is wrong to claim tennis has been given special treatment because it is a posh sport. The Government announced on Monday that The Championships will have 50% capacity from the start on June 28 – and a full Centre Court for finals weekend.
Neville took to Twitter to complain: “Can’t dance at a wedding but can stuff strawberries and champagne down your neck at The All England Club packed with tens of thousands crammed like sardines in a tin.”
And Manchester mayor Andy Burnham added: “One rule for tennis, another for everyone else.”
But Wimbledon chief executive Sally Bolton, the first woman in the role who used to run Wigan rugby league club, said: “I wouldn’t really comment on what his views are – that is a conversation you will have to have with him.
“The reason we are able to have an increased number of spectators at the Championships is that we are part of the event research programme and to that extent we are helping to support the Government and the sector to understand how we can increase fans as we work our way out of the pandemic.
“We are really pleased to be playing a part in that. I don’t think that has got anything to do with class.
AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin Mayor Steve Adler directed a strong message at Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Tuesday — after ERCOT, the commission that directs 90% of the state’s power, released a conservation alert.
On Monday, ERCOT, or the Electric Reliability Commission of Texas, drew national contempt for urging Texans to conserve energy due to many forced generation outages just months after millions were left without power for days during February’s historic winter storm. The incident is widely acknowledged as a colossal failure on the part of ERCOT. It’s faced ferocious scrutiny since.
Now, Adler is calling on Abbott to do something about it.
“It’s Day Two of conservation warnings from @GregAbbott_TX delicate power infrastructure,” Adler tweeted Tuesday morning. “It’s still technically spring and Texas is experiencing late-summer temperatures, power plants offline, and the governor is tweeting about a border wall that he can’t fund.”
“Maybe when a corporation tells the governor that an unreliable power grid is bad for business, he’ll finally listen,” tweeted Adler. “He doesn’t seem to care about whether it’s bad for people.”
Last week, Abbott signed two bills into law that will change the number of ERCOT board members, give state leaders more say in new appointments, and will also require power providers on the ERCOT grid to weatherize equipment and communicate further about outages. Abbott said these changes adequately addressed the grid’s issues, saying: “Bottom line is that everything that needed to be done was done to fix the power grid in Texas.”
As of Tuesday afternoon, Abbott has not addressed the alert via Twitter or through an official statement. Adler’s comments refer to one of Abbott’s tweets about Texas business: “Texas ranked #1 again,” the governor tweeted in response to a state award for attracting development projects. “…Thanks to all the job creators in Texas.”
Author: Russell Falcon
This post originally appeared on KXAN Austin