Democratic candidate Bill de Blasio trounced his Republican challenger, Joseph Lhota, in yesterday’s election for Mayor of the City of New York. With 73 percent of the vote, de Blasio won a decisive victory on a progressive platform that calls for a tax increase on wealthy New Yorkers to pay for early-childhood education and reform to the NYPD’s controversial stop-and-frisk policy.
Many cited de Blasio’s not-so-secret weapons—his photogenic family and affable Park Slope hipness—as keys to his surge in popularity. Lhota, despite his lauded leadership as head of the MTA during Hurricane Sandy, was unable to overcome his lack of name recognition and party affiliation in a city where Democrats vastly outnumber Republicans.
De Blasio also enjoyed widespread support in neighborhoods where more than 50 percent of the residents are minorities. According to The New York Times, in historically African-American areas of the city, de Blasio earned more than 96 percent of the vote; in Hispanic areas, more than 90 percent.
Voters also elected the first African-American woman to citywide office yesterday. Former City Council member Letitia James, who had represented the Fort Greene section of Brooklyn, ran unopposed for Public Advocate (replacing de Blasio). For Comptroller, former Manhattan borough president Scott Stringer handily won over a Republican candidate. Their wins mark the first time since 1993 (when the office of Public Advocate was created) that the three citywide positions are in Democratic hands.
All five borough president positions were also up for grabs, with no surprises in the win column. Former City Council member Gale Brewer replaces Scott Stringer in Manhattan; Former State Senator Eric Adams won Brooklyn. Former Council members Melinda Katz and James Oddo won in Queens and Staten Island, respectively. Incumbent Ruben Diaz Jr. held on to his seat in the Bronx.