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Mayoral front-runner Eric Adams said rival candidate Andrew Yang is a racist for pushing claims that the Brooklyn borough president actually lives in a New Jersey apartment — and not in the Bedford-Stuyvesant row home he calls his primary residence.
“How dare Andrew Yang say a retired [NYPD] captain, a state senator, a borough president, significant other is an educator, we can’t have two homes?” Adams said Friday at a Staten Island campaign event, referring to his own resume and that of his girlfriend, who co-owns the Garden State address.
“He has two homes. So you don’t see the hint of racism in that that I can’t have two homes?” Adams said, referring to Yang’s New Paltz, NY, vacation home, where he spent the pandemic with his family.
“Yes I have two homes and yes I live in Brooklyn. That’s my only response to that. I live in Brooklyn, I don’t live in New Paltz. My success allowed me to have two homes and I’m proud of that and I’m not apologizing for that,” Adams said, surrounded by mostly black supporters while receiving the endorsement of City Councilwoman Deborah Rose (D-Staten Island).
Adams invited the press over to his home in Bedford-Stuyvesant for a tour Wednesday, after a Politico report raised questions about where he lives and rival campaigns including Yang’s said his primary residence was the Fort Lee, NJ, apartment he shares with his partner, Tracey Collins.
Yang has continued to raise questions about Adams’ residency even after leading political figures like Mayor Bill de Blasio said the borough president is clearly a Brooklynite.
“About Eric Adams, it’s not just the fact that he most certainly lives in New Jersey, it’s that we’re asking these questions, uh, one day before early voting starts about why he’s never paid a rental income tax even though he owns five units and just told reporters two days ago that that’s how he helped his son get through college,” Yang said Friday at an earlier campaign event on Staten Island.
When told later in the day about Adams calling Yang racist, the businessman’s campaign spokesman Chris Coffey said: “This has nothing to do with the homes he owns. Eric has been hitting Andrew for months on not being a real New Yorker and he’s been doing it from New Jersey. New Yorkers are tired of rank hypocrisy.”
Adams said Wednesday he didn’t report the rental income on his tax returns because he got bad advice from an accountant and has switched to a new CPA. He’s promised to amend the forms but has not handed over evidence of the updated filing.
Last month Yang said a Daily News cartoon that poked fun at his lack of knowledge about New York City issues from police reform to domestic violence shelters by portraying him as a tourist in Times Square “subtly approves racism.”
“Some of my opponents in the race have characterized us as more New York than others.”
“That is wrong,” he said at the time.
“This is a city for everyone,” he said.
Yang and Adams have traded places for the number one spot in polls for the Democratic primary race, with Adams taking the lead in recent weeks. Early voting starts Saturday and election day is June 22.
Additional reporting by Lorena Mongelli and Sean Conlon
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