For many months, Mayor Eric Adams has beat the drum about one issue.
“We have to deal with the catch, release, repeat,” he said in July.
“People in the public need to see the names and faces of these individuals who are repeatedly creating violence in our community,” he said in August.
Bail reform and crime — Mayor Adams has been requesting the law be tweaked for months.
That same message was picked up by many Republican candidates across the state — including in suburban districts where congressional seats are flipping from red to blue.
“Since cashless bail has been enacted, crime is up 36% in New York City,” Republican Michael Lawler said, who just won a congressional seat in the Hudson Valley.
At times, the mayor appeared more in sync with the GOP than the top of the Democratic ticket.
“New Yorkers were saying crime is important. They were saying this,” he said Thursday.
In his first remarks after the election, Adams said the results were a wake-up call for Democrats, who he says have to retool their message on crime.
“We better listen to the wake-up call. Every day people are looking for bread and butter issues,” he said.
But some on his left, including the head of the Working Families Party, question whether Adams is partially to blame for Democratic losses on Tuesday.
“Mayor Adams spent the last year really fear mongering about crime and in many ways becoming Lee Zeldin’s best surrogate, especially with suburban voters,” Sochie Nnaemeka said, the New York state director of the Working Families Party.
“Come on, let’s get real here,” Adams said in response. “Think about this for a moment, if every poll shows that New Yorkers are concerned about crime and their mayor is responding to their concern. Who should be at fault? Those that ignored the concern.”
Adams says he is the one who is listening to New Yorkers. And he’s hopeful he might get what he wants from Albany next year.
“I am excited we’re going to Albany,” Adams said. “We’re sitting down with the governor. She’s been an awesome partner. I say this over and over again.”