It’s official: Bill de Blasio is projected to be the next mayor of New York City.
NY1 called the race for Mr. de Blasio, the city’s public advocate, immediately after the polls closed at 9 p.m. marking a return to Democratic rule in the city for the first time in 20 years.
The projection came before any votes had even been counted–and before guests had been allowed into Mr. de Blasio’s victory party at the sprawling Park Slope Armory, where a small group of aides and elected officials quietly cheered the results.
“Happy days are here today!” declared Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., a staunch de Blasio supporter, as he stood awaiting the results with Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez.
“The congresswoman and I are Puerto Rican, but today we’re kvelling,” added Mr. Diaz, who said that it all his years in public office, he was thrilled to finally have a friend in City Hall.
“He has a vision that really reflects the aspiration of working families in New York City,” echoed Ms. Velázquez, who celebrated the fact that city would finally be run by a non-Manhattanite.
The outcome, which is expected to include one the widest margins in recent history, comes as no surprise. Mr. de Blasio had consistently polled 40 points ahead of his Republican rival, Joe Lhota, a former deputy mayor and MTA chair.
Mr. de Blasio, who was relatively unknown just six months ago, vaulted to the front of the Democratic primary this summer, beating a host of better-known rivals by promising a break from the Bloomberg years and seizing on growing concerns about the widening gap between the rich and the poor. By the time the general kicked off, he was already considered a shoo-in in against Mr. Lhota in a city where Democrats outnumber Republicans 6-1.
But Mr. Lhota, a former deputy mayor in the Giuliani administration, who was widely credited with getting the trains back up and running after Sandy as MTA chair, also lost ground as Mr. de Blasio tried to portray him as an out-of-touch conservative. Mr. Lhota, meanwhile, spent much of the contest trying to paint Mr. de Blasio as a left-wing socialist with little management experience, who would return the city to the bad old days of the 80s.
In the end, Mr. de Blasio’s argument–boosted by the natural Democratic hue of New York City–won out.