Bill de Blasio, a former political operative turned liberal New York City leader, cruised to victory in the Big Apple’s mayoral race on Tuesday, marking the Democratic Party’s first return to City Hall in 20 years.
De Blasio, the city’s public advocate, easily dispatched Republican Joe Lhota, a former deputy mayor. Votes were still being tallied, but polls had forecast a landslide win for de Blasio and local news organizations called the race for him immediately after voting closed at 9 p.m. EST.
He quickly rejoiced in his victory in a Twitter message:
Thank you, New York City. http://t.co/pN7UP1PMNG—
Bill de Blasio (@deBlasioNYC) November 06, 2013
De Blasio rose up the echelons of local politics, and was a former city councilman. He also ran Hillary Clinton’s successful 2000 Senate campaign in New York. He surged in popularity shortly before the September Democratic primary race on a message that railed against economic inequality and dissatisfaction with what he called the “tale of two cities” that emerged during wealthy Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s 12 years in office. He also railed against the New York Police Department’s controversial stop-and-frisk tactic, and with his interracial family out front, a TV ad featuring his son Dante was credited with helping him rise in the polls.
Lhota, who served in Rudy Giuliani’s administration, warned that de Blasio would return the city to the crime-ridden days that preceded his Giuliani’s tenure, but never gained traction in the heavily Democratic city.