De Blasio is Elected Mayor of New York
Bill de Blasio was elected New York City’s first Democratic mayor in two decades Tuesday, running on an unabashedly liberal, tax-the-rich platform that contrasted sharply with billionaire Michael Bloomberg’s record during 12 years in office.
De Blasio, the city’s public advocate, defeated Republican Joe Lhota, former chief of the metropolitan area’s transit agency.
De Blasio, 52, will take office on Jan. 1 as the 109th mayor of the nation’s largest city. He had been heavily favored, holding an overwhelming lead in the polls for weeks.
Bloomberg, who first ran as a Republican and later became an independent, guided the city through the financial meltdown and the aftermath of 9/11. He is leaving office after three terms.
De Blasio ran as the anti-Bloomberg, railing against economic inequality and portraying New York as a "tale of two cities" - one rich, the other working class - under the pro-business, pro-development mayor, who made his fortune from the financial information company that bears his name.
De Blasio, who hails from Brooklyn, reached out to New Yorkers he contended were left behind by the often Manhattan-centric Bloomberg administration, and he called for a tax increase on the wealthy to pay for universal pre-kindergarten. He also pledged to improve economic opportunities in minority and working-class neighborhoods.
He decried alleged abuses under the police department’s stop-and-frisk policy and enjoyed a surge when a federal judge ruled that police had unfairly singled out blacks and Hispanics. The candidate, a white man married to a black woman, also received a boost from a campaign ad featuring their son, a 15-year-old with a big Afro.
Despite his reputation for idealism, he has also shown a pragmatic side, having worked for both Bill and Hillary Rodham Clinton and Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and was known for closed-door wheeling-and-dealing while serving on the City Council.