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article imageDemocrat Bill De Blasio elected NYC mayor in historic landslide

By Yukio Strachan     Nov 6, 2013 in Politics
New York - Democrat Bill de Blasio crushed his Republican rival Joe Lhota on Tuesday in the race to succeed New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, marking a new era for the nation's largest city.
De Blasio — who vowed to narrow the gap between the rich and poor and reform controversial policing tactics — was trouncing Lhota 73 percent to 24 percent with 99 percent of precincts reporting, according to The Associated Press early Wednesday.
The New York City Public Advocate is the first Democrat elected mayor of NYC since 1989.
And if de Blasio's margin of victory holds, it will surpass Abe Beame's 40-point win in 1973 as the largest by a non-incumbent since five-borough elections began in 1897, The AP reported.
"My fellow New Yorkers: today, you spoke out loudly and clearly for a new direction in our city, united by a belief that our city should leave no New Yorker behind," de Blasio told a gathering of about 2,000 revelers on Tuesday night in Brooklyn, according to Reuters. "The growing inequality we see, the crisis of affordability we face, it has been decades in the making. But its slow creep upon this city cannot weaken our resolve."
As CBS notes, de Blasio's road to his new position didn't come easy. In the spring, de Blasio was in fourth place in a crowded Democratic primary race that included former Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y., who resigned from Congress in disgrace after it was discovered he sent lewd photos and messages to women he met online, and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who would have been the city's first female and lesbian mayor.
But it wasn't until August that de Blasio hit upon the winning strategy: making his mixed-race family, and in particular his children, the public face of his campaign. It started with an ad starring his teenage son Dante, who, sporting a large afro, praised his father's positions on affordable housing and New York's controversial stop-and-frisk policy, CBS writes. (see Dante ad below)
De Blasio's campaign -- his opposition to stop-and-frisk, his pledge to raise taxes in order to pay for universal pre-kindergarten, his promise to fight for community hospitals, his desire to narrow New York's widening gap between the haves and the have-nots -- took off from there.
Lhota, who was a deputy mayor under Rudolph Giuliani and later headed the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, derided de Blasio as a "socialist" and insisted his opponent would lead New York back to its dark days of high crime and poor fiscal management, according to Reuters.
Lhota called de Blasio to concede about half an hour after polls closed at 9 p.m. Tuesday.
In conceding the race on Tuesday night, Lhota congratulated de Blasio and told a crowd of supporters in a Manhattan hotel that the campaign had been a "fight worth having."
De Blasio, 52, will take office on Jan. 1 as the 109th mayor of New York.
Despite his decisive win on Tuesday, de Blasio, who grew up in Boston and served two terms in the City Council, has his work cut out for him.
The city is forecasting a budget gap of $2.2 billion in the next financial year and is facing demands for retroactive pay increases from public sector unions that the current administration estimates could cost the city $4 billion to $8 billion, Reuters writes.
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