Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Bill de Blasio leads Democratic primary tally for New York City mayor, but Bill Thompson threatens runoff; Joe Lhota wins GOP primary


With 98% of the precincts reporting, de Blasio had 40% of the vote early Wednesday, while Thompson trailed in second with 26%. Lhota beat rival billionaire John Catsimatidis.

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Updated: Wednesday, September 11, 2013, 7:18 AM
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David Handschuh/New York Daily News

Bill de Blasio, victor in Tuesday's Democratic primary, with his happy family: son Dante (from left), daughter Chiara, Bill de Blasio, and wife Chirlane McCray.

Bill de Blasio, the city’s 6-foot-5-inch public advocate, claimed a towering victory Tuesday in the Democratic race for mayor — but former Controller Bill Thompson refused to give up until “every vote” is counted.
And with 98% of the precincts reporting, it was not clear early Wednesday morning whether de Blasio had won the Democratic nomination — or whether Thompson had corraled just enough support to force a runoff in three weeks.
Public Advocate Bill de Blasio embraces daughter Chiara and son Dante during celebratory rally at The Bell House in Brooklyn.

David Handschuh/New York Daily News

Public Advocate Bill de Blasio embraces daughter Chiara and son Dante during celebratory rally at The Bell House in Brooklyn.

The latest tally showed de Blasio had 40.2% of the vote, just a whisker more than the 40% needed to win the nomination without a runoff. Thompson had 26%.
But with tens of thousands of votes outstanding — including 19,000 paper ballots — it appeared that it would take the city’s embattled Board of Elections at least several days to sort it all out.
Bill de Blasio reigned supreme in the Democratic primary election for New York City mayor, but may not have escaped a runoff late Tuesday night.

Bebeto Matthews/AP

Bill de Blasio reigned supreme in the Democratic primary election for New York City mayor, but may not have escaped a runoff late Tuesday night.

Introduced by his 16-year-old son, Dante, and 19-year-old daughter, Chiara, who had been showcased throughout his campaign, de Blasio took the stage at his raucous victory party at the Bell House in Gowanus, Brooklyn, as if the Democratic nomination had been settled.
RELATED: LIVE BLOG! NEW YORK PRIMARY ELECTION DAY
Bill de Blasio surged in the final two weeks leading up to Tuesday's election — with a lot of credit going to son Dante and daughter Chiara, both of whom helped him campaign.

David Handschuh/New York Daily News

Bill de Blasio surged in the final two weeks leading up to Tuesday's election — with a lot of credit going to son Dante and daughter Chiara, both of whom helped him campaign.

“We are better as a city when we make sure that everyone has a shot,” he said, reprising his campiagn mantra of bringing the income gap in New York. “We begin tonight.”
But Thompson was far from ready to concede.
Dante de Blasio — and his afro — may be what captured the hearts of enough voters to carry a win for Bill de Blasio in Tuesday's election.

David Handschuh/New York Daily News

Dante de Blasio — and his afro — may be what captured the hearts of enough voters to carry a win for Bill de Blasio in Tuesday's election.

“Every voice in New York City deserves to be heard,” the former city controller declared.
“We’re going to wait for every vote to be counted,” he said. “This is far from over!”
Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, with daughter Chiara (right) and wife Chirlane McCray, was ahead in the Democratic primary for New York City mayor.

David Handschuh/New York Daily News

Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, with daughter Chiara (right) and wife Chirlane McCray, was ahead in the Democratic primary for New York City mayor.

And with that, his supporters at the Eventi Hotel in Chelsea broke into chants of “Three more weeks! Three more weeks!”
PHOTOS: NEW YORK CITY PRIMARY DAY 2013: CANDIDATES CAST THEIR BALLOTS
In a rollercoaster primary season, Bill de Blasio — speaking to the press Tuesday — took a strong lead in the polls during the final weeks before the election.

David Handschuh/New York Daily News

In a rollercoaster primary season, Bill de Blasio — speaking to the press Tuesday — took a strong lead in the polls during the final weeks before the election.

A runoff, if necessary, would be held Oct. 1.
“I’m confident,” said Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-Queens), a Thompson backer.
Bill de Blasio's son Dante had a big role in the public advocate's mayoral campaign, appearing in several campaign ads and frequently by his side.

NYForDeBlasio·via YouTube

Bill de Blasio's son Dante had a big role in the public advocate's mayoral campaign, appearing in several campaign ads and frequently by his side.

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn had 15.5%, Controller John Liu had 7% and scandal-scarred former U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner had 4.9% — all finishing far out of the money.
Whoever becomes the Democratic nominee will face Republican Joe Lhota in November for the right to lead the city after 12 years of Mayor Bloomberg’s reign.
A reporter tries to photograph Bill de Blasio in the voting booth at the Park Slope Library in Brooklyn.

David Handschuh/New York Daily News

A reporter tries to photograph Bill de Blasio in the voting booth at the Park Slope Library in Brooklyn.

Lhota, a former MTA chairman and deputy mayor under Rudy Giuliani, outdistanced billionaire John Catsimatidis Tuesday for the Republican nomination.
RELATED: ELECTIONS BOARD COULD TAKE WEEK BEFORE DETERMINING NEED FOR RUNOFF
Bill de Blasio (center) arrives with his son, Dante de Blasio (right), to the primary election party at The Bell House on Tuesday.

Kathy Willens/AP

Bill de Blasio (center) arrives with his son, Dante de Blasio (right), to the primary election party at The Bell House on Tuesday.

In the Democratic primary for city controller, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer defeated Eliot Spitzer, who was attempting a political comeback after resigning as governor in 2008 amid a prostitution scandal.
There also were primaries Tuesday to determine the nominees for other citywide offices, borough presidencies and dozens of City Council races.
Bill de Blasio and his wife Chirlane campaigning on Tuesday, greeting firefighters in Astoria, Queens.

David Handschuh/New York Daily News

Bill de Blasio and his wife Chirlane campaigning on Tuesday, greeting firefighters in Astoria, Queens.

But the battle to carry the Democratic banner in the November election took center stage Tuesday, as it has all year.
The tallest man on the campaign trail, de Blasio exuded confidence as city residents headed to the polls.
Public Advocate Bill de Blasio kisses his wife Chirlane McCray after voting in the New York City mayoral primary Tuesday in Park Slope, Brooklyn.

Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Public Advocate Bill de Blasio kisses his wife Chirlane McCray after voting in the New York City mayoral primary Tuesday in Park Slope, Brooklyn.

Grinning from ear to ear, the 52-year-old de Blasio soaked up the love from a cheering crowd as he and his wife, Chirlane McCray, cast their ballots at the Park Slope public library.
RELATED: DE BLASIO SEEKS DECISIVE WIN IN DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn (center), once favored to win the Democratic primary, with her wife Kim Catullo de Matteo (left).

Marcus Santos/New York Daily News

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn (center), once favored to win the Democratic primary, with her wife Kim Catullo de Matteo (left).

He even felt comfortable enough to park his not-so-secret weapon, Dante, at school, instead of trotting him out on one last bid for votes.
The de Blasio campaign caught fire after the candidate made Dante and his fabulous Afro a focal point of his underdog campaign.
Democratic mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio meets with voters in Co-op City, Bronx, as part of his five-borough campaign tour Tuesday.

David Handschuh/New York Daily News

Democratic mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio meets with voters in Co-op City, Bronx, as part of his five-borough campaign tour Tuesday.

De Blasio kept up his anti-Bloomberg rhetoric to the end, saying he represents a clear change in direction for the city from a mayor who is “out of touch with the people’s wishes.”
“I present the most progressive view for this city, and I think the choice is clear in the Democratic primary,” de Blasio told cheering supporters.
Former MTA chief Joe Lhota arrives at his neighborhood polling place, the Congregation Mt. Sinai, 250 Cadman Plaza West, in Brooklyn Heights with his wife Tamra. Lhota won the Republican primary election over rival John Catsimatidis.

Jesse Ward for New York Daily News

Former MTA chief Joe Lhota arrives at his neighborhood polling place, the Congregation Mt. Sinai, 250 Cadman Plaza West, in Brooklyn Heights with his wife Tamra. Lhota won the Republican primary election over rival John Catsimatidis.

“He is going to win,” said voter Paulette White, 47. “Everyone in Park Slope is voting for you, Bill.”
RELATED: DANTE DE BLASIO'S CLASSMATES IGNORE HIS LOCAL CELEB STATUS
By the time the polls closed at 9 p.m., the Edison Research exit poll showed de Blasio in the lead.
While de Blasio was coasting, Thompson scrambled to avoid another bitter disappointment, after coming surprisingly close to unseating Bloomberg in the last mayoral race four years ago.
The only African-American candidate, Thompson completed a marathon 24-hour campaign blitz, battling to keep black voters from defecting to de Blasio, who is white.
After stumping through the night, and voting in the morning, he took a nap, and hit the trail again.
“I got a few hours of sleep, I feel good,” the 60-year-old Thompson said as he pressed the flesh in Flatbush, Brooklyn. “I’m hearing some very good things about turnout.”
RELATED: BRONX CAMPAIGNERS DIDN'T GO 'ROUND HUNGRY
Once a long shot to win the Democratic primary, de Blasio languished in fourth place for much of the year, with barely 10% of the vote.
But he began to make his move in late July when Weiner’s candidacy imploded amid another sexting scandal and voters began hunting for an alternative. Then de Blasio cut the TV ads featuring his interracial family that turned his telegenic son into an unlikely star.
De Blasio got enthusiastic receptions wherever he roamed Tuesday in a final push to get out the vote.
Despite all the hoopla surrounding a 10-month campaign that featured 150 forums and more than $15 million in television advertising, turnout appeared to be spotty across the city — somewhere around 21% in the Democratic primary for mayor.
The results represented a disappointing end for Liu, whose candidacy was upended by a fund-raising scandal. And the results likely ended the once-promising political career of Weiner.
With Greg B. Smith, Tanay Warerkar, Erin Durkin, Irving De John and Michael Feeney
akarni@nydailynews.com
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