De Blasio Scores Big Win in Primary, Potentially Avoiding Runoff

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Public Advocate Bill de Blasio flanked by his son, Dante, his daughter, Chiara, and his wife, Chirlane McCray. | GAY CITY NEWS
Public Advocate Bill de Blasio flanked by his son, Dante, his daughter, Chiara, and his wife, Chirlane McCray. | GAY CITY NEWS

Having achieved a big plurality in the Democratic primary, with a good shot at avoiding a runoff when all the paper ballots have been counted early next week, a triumphant Bill de Blasio vowed to win City Hall on November 5.

“What we achieved here tonight won’t just change the views inside City Hall,” de Blasio told supporters at a September 10 celebration in a Brooklyn club not far from his Park Slope home. “It will change the policies that have left so many New Yorkers outside of City Hall.”

De Blasio was contending with four major opponents in the primary and the conventional wisdom was that a runoff was a certainty among the Democrats. But unofficial results suggested that he had won the required 40 percent of the vote to avoid the expected October 1 second round.

With no runoff, de Blasio, currently the city’s public advocate, could immediately set his sights on Joe Lhota, the former deputy mayor in the Giuliani administration who easily won the Republican nomination for mayor.

In his remarks, de Blasio amplified on his campaign theme –– a “tale of two cities.” He said a small number of wealthy New Yorkers have benefited from city policies and a far larger group of New Yorkers have been left behind. New York has become a city in which “luxury condos have replaced community hospitals” and “proactive policing has become racial profiling,” he said.

The reference to luxury condos was hammered home in the campaign’s final weeks to emphasize the loss of St. Vincent’s Hospital and the redevelopment of the site by Rudin Management in City Council Speaker Christine Quinn’s district.

Exit polls show de Blasio bested Quinn in LGBT community, finished even with Thompson among African-American voters.

De Blasio said his campaign offered an “unapologetic progressive alternative” and that a de Blasio mayoralty would be one in which all New Yorkers would have a chance at a better life.

Bill de Blasio delivers his victory speech late in the evening on September 10. | GAY CITY NEWS
Bill de Blasio delivers his victory speech late in the evening on September 10. | GAY CITY NEWS

“We are bigger, we are stronger, we are better as a city when we make sure that everybody has a shot,” de Blasio said.

While recent polls suggested that de Blasio had a significant lead heading into the Democratic primary, those same polls had repeatedly shifted in the months leading up to September 10. An exit poll by Edison Research Services indicated he had cobbled together an impressive coalition to win the primary.

Forty-one percent of women voted for de Blasio as did 42 percent of African-American voters. The greatest surprise in the exit poll was that 47 percent of lesbian, gay, and bisexual voters backed de Blasio while only 34 percent supported Quinn, an out lesbian who has represented Chelsea and the West Village for 14 years.

“We saw people really respond to a progressive message,” said Dan Levitan, a de Blasio spokesperson, roughly two hours before the candidate spoke. “The exit poll is one thing... It is indicative of what we are seeing throughout the city.”

Levitan said the campaign had set a goal of identifying 100,000 de Blasio supporters and it had exceeded that goal. The campaign had 5,000 volunteers working on September 10 to get voters to the polls. The turnout in the primary was moderate, with between 600,000 and 700,000 New Yorkers voting, and de Blasio snagged the votes of roughly 260,000.

The campaign was also assisted by 1199 SEIU, a local of the Service Employees International Union. George Gresham, the president of 1199 SEIU, introduced de Blasio’s daughter, Chiara, at the celebration who then introduced her father.

Quinn’s result was stunning. Six months before the primary she was seen as the inevitable nominee, though even Quinn conceded that a runoff was unavoidable. She finished with just 15 percent of the vote. Quinn had worked very hard, seemingly successfully, for several years to boost her profile citywide.

Bill Thompson, the former city comptroller, had 26 percent of the vote, and he did not concede defeat to de Blasio, emphasizing that every vote needs to be counted. Other contenders, such as John Liu, the current comptroller, and Anthony Weiner, the former congressman, were in the single digits.

Lhota is presenting himself in the mold of Rudy Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg –– fiscally disciplined and liberal on social issues. That has been a potent image in recent elections. Together, Giuliani and Bloomberg have occupied City Hall for the past 20 years.

Giuliani and Bloomberg, in fact, used gimmicks to balance the city’s budget. Giuliani cut taxes and doubled New York City’s borrowing to make up for the lost revenue. Bloomberg has not negotiated new contracts with any city unions in four years, saving at least $7 billion. The next mayor will have to contend with those negotiations and the fiscal consequences.

Updated 5:17 pm, July 20, 2018
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Reader feedback

Sam Esposito says:
I'm proud to say that as part of the Gay, Lesbian, Bi sexual & Transgender community in Queens & a long time activist we spent countless hours calling everyone & anyone that we knew to make sure they voted for De Blasio to ensure that Quinn was voted not only out of office but also out of the run-off. In Queens I'm proud to say that the entire GLBT community supported De Blasio & we want to send a message to Quinn. How dare you think you're above the voters to over turn term limits so that you and your cronies can have a third term and how dare you spend tax payer dollars to punish City Council members because they had a different opinion separate from yourself and because they did not support all your issues.
Sept. 11, 2013, 2:54 pm
Sam Esposito says:
We all supported you when you were sworn in as the speaker and we all went to your party at the center in manhattan because we thought you we the beginning of the old ways and that new progressive politics would take over the old corrupt ways. Instead you went right along side the corrupt politicians and did exactly what you promised you would never do. Goodbye and good riddance. You are a disgrace to compromise your values for your own self indulgences. Happy to see you go. Amen and thank you everyone that helped defeat mini-Bloomberg.
Sept. 11, 2013, 2:54 pm
public commentator says:
The other fiscal gimmick was to sell more taxi medallions to raise money, and then decry that there were too many cars on street and we need congestion pricing. Without the abundance of new taxis, there would be no need for congestion pricing. Good for Bill DiBlasio. All Dems and folks of good conscience should rally behind him. We do not need 4 more years of Rudy and Bloomberg - ie Lhota and his mismanaged MTA.
Sept. 11, 2013, 3:42 pm
praise for quinn says:
TOUGH F**KG ROOM>>>>> What you guys are missing is that Chris Quinn is a trailblazer and we are not likely to see another person in the near future come along who excels to the political heights she managed. We are all better off that she was willing to **** try **** to crack the Pink Roof over all of our heads. PRAISE NOT DAMNATION is due her. Not that she did not contribute to her own failures. But everything is not black and white and so many critics are eager to tell her to get out of town......foolish, blind, bitter people. Quinn deserves significant acknowledgement and praise. SING IT...
Sept. 11, 2013, 4:40 pm
it is so sad to believe that people believe in the lies of diblasio. a corrupt man and his wife. for example he received money from corrupt landlords. and his wife was to blame for the housing market failure. in WALL ST. in which a lot of people lost their homes thanks to deblasio"s wife. both of them are a corrupt couple. i want lhota instead. eventhough i go democrat. SO LHOTA FOR MAYOR. AND I AM GOING TO MAKE IT HAPPEN. AND QUINN WAS THE BEST QUALIFY TO BE MAYOR.
Sept. 11, 2013, 9:18 pm

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