On a sunday in April, Gregory Meeks, the head of the Queens County Democratic Party and the congressman from the largely Black, middle-class, home-owning precincts of southeastern Queens, endorsed the mayoral campaign of Ray McGuire, a former Citigroup executive whose candidacy has been buoyed by a biography that takes him from the other side of the tracks in Dayton, Ohio, to a position as one of the highest-ranking Black executives on Wall Street.
So one day later, Eric Adams, the Brooklyn borough president and a leading candidate in the mayor’s race, came to southeastern Queens himself to open a campaign office. Stepping up to the microphone at the ribbon-cutting on April 19, Adams made clear that his is no ragsto-riches, Dayton-to-downtown story.
“I am you. You all finally have a candidate that is you,” he said to the crowd. “I have always been here.”
Adams headed inside, where the room echoed with volunteers reading from the call script: “Eric is the only blue-collar candidate in the race and has lived his whole life right here.” He made his way to a table in the back, where an aide brought him a green juice and a bean salad. Adams credits switching to a plant-based diet with reversing his type-2 diabetes, which had briefly rendered him partially blind; he lost 35 pounds and wrote a book called Healthy at Last. Lawmakers and lobbyists have told me it is the subject that seems to animate him the most.
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