Sections

De Blasio pulls off sizable primary victory for mayor

Candidates (clockwise from top l.) Democrat Sal Albanese, Republican Candidates John Catsimatidis, Democrat Randy Credico, Democrat Bill de Blasio, Democrat Neil Vincent Grimaldi, Democrat John Liu, Republican Joseph Lhota, Republican George McDonald, Democrat Christine Quinn, Democrat Erick Salgado, Democrat Bill Thompson and Democrat Anthony Weiner were on the primary ballot. AP Photo/Craig Ruttle (George McDonald - Photo (l.) courtesy Sal Albanese and by Caroll Alvarado; Ken Maldonado; Christina Santucci and Nat Valentine
TimesLedger Newspapers
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like TimesLedger on Facebook.

De Blasio finished first with 40.2 percent of the vote, ahead of a slew of other contenders, including former city Comptroller Bill Thompson with 26.1 percent, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn with 15.4 percent, City Comptroller John Liu with 7.1 percent, former U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner with 4.9 percent, according to the Associated Press.

Although de Blasio hit the 40 percent needed to avoid a run-off, neither he nor Thompson called the Democratic primary season over. The official vote count was scheduled for Monday, when the final tally could set the stage for a run-off.

Surrounded by his family and introduced by his teenage daughter, de Blasio thanked voters for his victory.

“To all of you I offer my love and gratitude,” said de Blasio. “You have made this campaign a cause. I thank you for elevating it to that level.”

As the clock slipped past midnight and the day turned into Sept. 11, de Blasio focused on the individuals who died 12 years ago during the terrorist attacks. On that terrible day New York was a unified community, and not the tale of two cities it has since become, said de Blasio. It is a place de Blasio wants to see the city return to.

“This must be a city of opportunity for all,” said de Blasio. “We must resolve that a tale of two cities is in our past and begin to build one city. We begin, my friends, tonight.”

With supporters chanting “three more weeks,” Thompson congratulated de Blasio on his first-place finish, but also assured the crowd there would be no concession speech Tuesday evening.

“This race is incredibly close and there are still tens of thousands of ballots that remain to be counted,” said Thompson. “Tonight is for everyone of you out there that has been counted out.”

In his concession speech, Weiner said his campaign had generated “125 new ideas every single day” but he told a crowd of supporters “sadly, I was an imperfect messenger.” Despite calls from some Democratic heavyweights for him to drop his candidacy after he revealed he had continued sexting, Weiner said “there was never any quit in this campaign.”

Quinn, after suffering a stunning defeat, said although she disagreed with her opponents on some issues, they all cared deeply about the city.

As for the Republicans, Lhota rolled up a margin of 52.7 percent of the vote, beating out Republicans John Catsimatidis with 40.6 percent and George McDonald with 6.7 percent for the nomination.

“This is the first step toward continuing a strong future for our city,” Lhota said. “Tonight marks a milestone. Our journey continues, just at a faster pace.”

Lhota attributed his win to the campaign he ran, which focused on “issues, vision, principle and experience.”

He also give a jab at de Blasio and said New Yorkers will see two completely different visions for the city.

“The other side says it is a tale of two cities, but this tale is nothing more than class warfare,” said Lhota, the former MTA chairman and the deputy mayor under Rudy Giuliani. “I’m not going to let the other side divide our city.”

To cheers from his supporters, Lhota told the crowd he is the only candidate with the experience to lead the city in good times and in bad. Having served as deputy mayor and former head of the MTA, Lhota believes he will be ready for the job on Day One. He also made no apologizes for his style of government.

“I call it like I see it,” said Lhota. “I’ll always tell New Yorkers the truth, and in this town people appreciated that.”

In his concession speech, Catsimatidis apologized to his campaign staff and volunteers for Tuesday’s outcome.

“Next time I’ll work harder,” Catsimatidis said. “I want to let everyone know...go home and go to bed. I don’t think I’ve slept in the last three nights.”

Reach reporters Bianca Fortis and Phil Corso by e-mail at bfortis@cnglocal.com and pcorso@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4546 and 718-260-4573.

Updated 12:40 pm, September 11, 2013
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like TimesLedger on Facebook.

Reader feedback

Enter your comment below

By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:

You agree that you, and not TimesLedger.com or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to TimesLedger.com the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

CNG: Community Newspaper Group