Republican mayoral longshot Curtis Sliwa conceded just before 10 pm on Nov. 2 at an election gala on 50th Street and Lexington Avenue in the Empire Steakhouse.
According to the Associated Press, Sliwa lost to Adams, who won about 75% of the vote. But how did the Guardian Angel founder and self-professed animal lover end up on a stage he wished would lead to Gracie Mansion?
Running as a Republican and independent, Sliwa hoped his time as a faux police officer in the Guardian Angels, his tough on crime agenda, and animal rights advocacy would help lead him to the city’s top office. However, although Sliwa came up short and his faults—which according to exit polls New Yorkers believes he has many—nobody can say he didn’t put the work in.
Whereas Adams seemed like a no-brainer victory after the Brooklyn Borough President had been positioning himself for a mayoral run, Sliwa was a latecomer to the game, only announcing his candidacy on March 8, 2020.
Since that time, Sliwa remained on the campaign trail almost every day, speaking at events where he was wanted and at those where he was not. Hitting the streets and the subways, the man in red brought the Curtis circus all over New York, but in the end, it wasn’t enough to steal a victory.
At a party attended by the likes of Andrew Giuliani and a host of Guardian Angels who began to well up, the man who has been compared to Donald Trump did something the former president did not: gracefully concede.
“I am pledging my support to the new mayor Eric Adams because we’re all going to have to coalesce together in harmony and solidarity. If we’re going to save this city that we love, we gotta put aside our political and ideological differences and do what is best for all the residents of New York City,” Sliwa said to a round of applause.
He thanked those who voted him, sharing that his time in the light will not dim as he will continue to push issues that most concern him, like that of animal welfare.
“We have made history. We have shown that a Republican independent can show compassion and caring to the emotionally disturbed, the homeless, and for the first time in history of American politics an animal welfare program was introduced to the general public that said no kill shelters,” Sliwa said.
“So understand this, unlike the former president who said many, many years ago, ‘You won’t have me to kick around anymore.’ You will have Curtis Sliwa to kick around,” Sliwa promised.