As expected, public advocate Bill de Blasio finished first in his bid for the Democrat mayoral nomination last night and continues to hover around the 40 percent mark. Under New York City election law, a candidate must reach the 40 percent plateau or a run-off between the top two finishers occurs at a later date – Oct. 1, in this case. Former NYC Comptroller Bill Thompson is second with 26 percent. The campaign’s original leader, City Council President Christine Quinn, finished a distant third with only 16 percent of the vote. Disgraced former Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY-9) actually dropped to fifth position, capturing a mere 5 percent of his party’s vote.
Despite a turnout approaching 10 times less than the Democratic participation number, former NY Metropolitan Transit Authority chairman Joe Lhota won the Republican nomination outright, capturing 53 percent of the vote. Supermarket magnate John Catsamitidis was second with 41 percent. Doe Foundation founder George McDonald finished way back attracting just 7 percent support.
It might take several days to determine if de Blasio actually reached 40 percent, allowing for uncounted precinct, absentee and provisional ballots. Should he fall short, it will literally be by only a handful of votes, so it will be interesting to see if Thompson pushes for the run-off, or concedes the nomination. Late polls gave the first place finisher double-digit leads over the former New York comptroller, but things can certainly change in a new election between just two candidates. More likely than not, however, de Blasio will claim his party’s nomination whether it be this week or on Oct. 1. He then will face Lhota in the Nov. 5 general election.
Though the Republicans are badly outnumbered in terms of voter registration, they have kept the Democrats from winning the mayor’s office for the past 20 consecutive years. Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani served two terms beginning in 1993, and current incumbent Michael Bloomberg has held the office since 2001. The latter man was originally elected as a Republican, but later switched to Independent status. De Blasio will be favored in the general election, but expect Lhota to be competitive, especially with a public financing system that ensures he will have more than $6 million to spend on the campaign.
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