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Bill De Blasio, Anti-Stop and Frisk, Anti-Bloomberg Progressive Tops NYC Dem Mayoral Primary

September 11, 2013 in Blogs

By Ed Pilkington, The Guardian

Spitzer and Weiner fail in redemption quest. Joe Lhota tops Republicans.


Bill De Blasio, the liberal pragmatist who sprang from nowhere to storm the Democratic race for New York mayor, was within a hair's breadth of winning his party's nomination outright on Wednesday.

Unofficial tallies put De Blasio at 40.2%, just over the 40% needed to avoid a run-off on 1 October. A decisive result would place De Blasio in the front-runner position for the November general election, where he would go up against the former chief of New York's transport agency, Joe Lhota, who won the Republican nomination.

But official results put him just under 40% and should a final count force De Blasio to go to a second round, he would go face Bill Thompson, the city's former comptroller, or chief auditor, who took second place with 26%. Christine Quinn, the city council leader and early favourite, was beaten into a distant third place.

In his election night speech, delivered close to midnight, Thompson made it clear that he would not go easily. He said that he would ensure that “every vote counted” – a strong hint that he intends to wait for an official declaration that included absentee ballots, which may not come for three weeks.

In exit polls conducted by Edison Research, De Blasio trounced his rivals among all main demographic groups. He held sway among men (44%) and women (42%), whites (46%), blacks (44%) and Hispanics (41%), all the city's main religious communities and all age groups.

The result was a resounding vindication for De Blasio's unconventional approach to the New York mayoral race in which he cut across traditional racial and ethnic lines to build what the Guardian analyst Harry Enten called “the most diverse coalition in modern history”. Key to his success, propelled from a little-known fourth place contender just a few weeks ago to his party's front-runner, was his message of a “tale of two cities” – an implicit attack on the style of leadership of the current mayor, billionaire Michael Bloomberg.

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