June 29 (UPI) -- Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and former Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia were locked in a tight race in New York City's mayoral primary, according to preliminary ranked-choice results released Tuesday.
The projections released by the New York City Board of elections, which are neither official nor final, showed Adams, a former police captian, maintaining his election night lead with 51.1% of the vote, while Garcia trailed in a close second with 48.9%, 15,908 votes shy.
Tuesday's count showed Maya Wiley, a former counsel to outgoing Mayor Bill de Blasio, narrowly missed the final round, earning 29.3% of votes in the 10th round, trailing 4,000 votes behind Garcia at 29.8%.
More than 124,000 Democratic absentee ballots remain to be counted, which could drastically alter the field, and a clear picture of the election result is not expected until mid-July.
The election marks the first time the city has employed the ranked-choice voting system, which allows voters to select as many as five candidates in preferential order. Under the system, if no candidate receives more than 50% of votes in the first round, the winner is decided using secondary choices with the candidate who receives the fewest votes eliminated in each round.
Garcia benefited greatly from a late-stage alliance with businessman and former presidential candidate Andrew Yang, who dropped out of the election on the first night of voting, as they campaigned together just before polls closed.
She received 29.4% of votes from ballots that had ranked Yang above her, while Adams received 24.8% and Wiley received 10.2%.
Adams, who has led the field since election night, condemned the partnership between Garcia and Yang and has been critical of the ranked-choice system but has indicated he would respect the result.
Garcia has stressed that results are not final until all ballots are counted by the board and Wiley said in a statement Tuesday that "we must allow the democratic process to continue."
The winner of the primary will face off against Republican primary winner Curtis Silwa, a talk show host and founder of the Guardian Angels crime prevention group, where they will be favored to replace de Blasio, a Democrat, who is barred from running for a third term.