"How foolish would someone have to be to run to be the mayor of the city of New York and live in another municipality?" Eric Adams asked

By Sean Neumann
June 10, 2021 04:50 PM
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Eric Adams
Eric Adams
| Credit: Erik Pendzich/Shutterstock

A leading candidate in New York City's mayoral race staged an unlikely press event in an unlikelier place on Wednesday, welcoming reporters inside his Brooklyn home after it was reported that he has been sleeping at an apartment he owns in New Jersey.

"How foolish would someone have to be to run to be the mayor of the city of New York and live in another municipality?" Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams asked reporters while answering questions outside his apartment.

Adams, 60, held a news conference outside the building with his 26-year-old son, Jordan. He also allowed the media to tour the inside of the apartment (including the bedroom), which he described as "modest."

His opponents described the entire scenario in different terms this week.

"Okay, can we just have some real talk for a minute here? This is bizarre," said Maya Wiley, a civil rights attorney and former mayoral aide running against Adams in the city's Democratic primary later this month.

"Where do you live, Eric?" Wiley, 57, asked during her own gaggle with reporters.

Adams, Wiley, former Sanitation Department Commissioner Kathryn Garcia and former presidential candidate Andrew Yang are considered front-runners in the crowded primary race - whose winner will go on to be the favorite in November's election.

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced he's stepping down after his term ends.

Eric Adams
Eric Adams
| Credit: Erik Pendzich/Shutterstock

Adams, a former police officer and state lawmaker, has steadily appeared at the top of mayoral polls.

His opponents quickly seized on the residency issue, first reported by Politico this week, in the final days before early primary voting begins.

"Eric Adams has a problematic record of not being fully honest or transparent with the voters of New York," Garcia, 51, said, according to The New York Times.

Yang, who has faced questions about his own out-of-city residency in New Paltz, New York, called for Adams to release his E-ZPass records to prove he has really been living in Brooklyn.

"If you've been in Brooklyn, then it will show nothing and then we'll move on," Yang, 46, said, according to Politico.

A spokesperson for Adams' campaign did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment Thursday.

Eric Adams
Eric Adams' Brooklyn apartment
| Credit: Erik Pendzich/Shutterstock

Politico had reported Tuesday that Adams "has been staying overnight and keeping late-night and early-morning hours in the government building where he and his staff work" and then later reported that he has called into several online mayoral forums from the Fort Lee, New Jersey, home he co-owns with his girlfriend, Tracey Collins.

"I never hid that I own a co-op in New Jersey with Tracey, but my permanent residence is in Brooklyn," Adams said, according to the outlet.

The Times interviewed several of his neighbors in Brooklyn this week, who recognized him but could not nail down how often he spent time there.

"I haven't seen him in a while," one said.

"I don't keep up and down track of him 24/7," said another, "but I see him quite a lot."