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The New York Primaries and the Jewish Left: Five Takeaways

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After several years of big wins for insurgent progressive Democrats in New York, this week’s municipal primary was regarded by some as a test of their strength, especially when a surge in shootings and homicides has provided fodder for attacks on their criminal-justice policies by Republicans and “law and order” Democrats.

Because New York is basically a one-party town, the primary provides a window into some of the internal debates among Democrats here and nationwide.

So when former NYPD captain and current Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams emerged as the frontrunner for mayor after Tuesday’s first-ever ranked-choice voting (RCV) ballot, a narrative emerged that the left, feeling energized after last year’s George Floyd protests, had seen a reversal of fortune.

Let’s take a look at the reality, in five takeaways:

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The left is not dead.

Reports of the electoral irrelevance of the left in New York were greatly exaggerated. Yes, it’s true that the two candidates embraced by most of the left in the mayor’s race fizzled out (City Comptroller Scott Stringer and non-profit executive Dianne Morales), but progressives rallied around civil rights attorney Maya Wiley. She came in second and has an outside chance of beating Adams.

In many other races, progressive candidates won or currently lead. The two other citywide offices, public advocate and comptroller, will be filled by, respectively, Jumaane Williams and, if his lead holds through several rounds of instant runoff voting, Brooklyn City Councilmember Brad Lander.

Progressive candidates are leading the heavily contested races for Manhattan and Brooklyn borough presidents. Alvin Bragg, one of four........

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