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Thompson handily takes comptroller race

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Facing opponents they had already defeated in the primaries, fellow Democrats William Thompson easily won the race for city comptroller and Betsy Gotbaum captured the post of public advocate Tuesday.

Thompson, the former Board of Education president, received 85 percent of the vote according to unofficial results late Tuesday night, defeating Liberal Party nominee Herbert Berman. Thompson had already outlasted Berman in the Democratic primary, receiving 54 percent of the vote on Sept. 25.

Likewise, Gotbaum, a former Parks commissioner, won 87 percent of the vote according to unofficial results, ahead of Scott Stringer on the Liberal Party line and Sheila Flaxman on the Fusion Party line, two candidates she had defeated handily on Sept. 25. In a crowded field, Gotbaum had won 24 percent of the vote in the Democratic primary, more than the runner-up, Norman Seigel with 17 percent. Gotbaum then bested Seigel in a Democratic run-off Oct. 11.

Conservative Joseph Dubowski, Libertarian Travis Pahl, and Chris Launois of the Marijuana Reform party were also on the ballot for public advocate.

The comptroller’s race drew a crowded field: Conservative John Demic, Libertarian James Eisert and Joseph Fusco of the Fusion Party and Tracy Blevins of the Marijuana Reform party.

As comptroller, Thompson will oversee the city’s $90 billion in pension funds, settle claims against the city and has the power to audit city agencies.

Gotbaum’s role as the public advocate is less defined. Created less than a decade ago, the position of public advocate replaced the position of city council president. The advocate presides over city council meetings and can introduce legislation but only votes in the case of a tie. The advocate is also next in line to succeed the mayor in the event he or she becomes unable to serve.

Reach Reporter Alexander Dworkowitz by e-mail at Timesledger@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 141.

Posted 7:28 pm, October 10, 2011
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