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Brooklyn Wins New York’s Democratic Primaries

September 11, 2013

New York City Public Advocate Bill de Blasio won yesterday’s Democratic mayoral primary. With 98 percent of the vote counted, de Blasio leads former Comptroller Bill Thompson by 40.2 percent to 26.1 percent. Unless the votes remaining to be counted bring de Blasio below the 40 percent threshold, de Blasio is the Democratic nominee and will not need a runoff against Thompson. Even if de Blasio and Thompson have to duke it out in a runoff, contingent polling during the primary campaign showed de Blasio winning a runoff handily – and, if anything, I would expect de Blasio to get a nice polling bump out of winning the primary.

Of course the Democratic nominee will have to deal with the Republican nominee, former Metropolitan Transportation Authority Chairman Joe Lhota. Polling so far has shown almost any Democrat beating almost any Republican for mayor, and of course – notwithstanding 20 years of Mayors Rudy Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg – New York is a heavily Democratic town. So I expect de Blasio to be our next mayor.

If so, de Blasio will be our first mayor not from Manhattan since Abe Beame left office in 1977. De Blasio is a Brooklynite, and Brooklyn had a great day yesterday.

De Blasio’s successor as public advocate will be from Brooklyn. It will be either City Council Member Letitia James or State Senator Daniel Squadron, who finished one-two at 36.2 and 33.2 percent respectively, and therefore must face a runoff on October 1.

Of the three city-wide elected offices, only the comptroller will be from Manhattan. Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer rose to former Governor Eliot Spitzer’s challenge, out-polling him by four percent.

Brooklyn enjoyed two other benchmarks last night. The Democratic nominees for Brooklyn district attorney and Brooklyn borough president, who are sure to win their general election races, will be the first African-Americans in those positions. State Senator Eric Adams, who was unopposed for the Democratic nomination, will be Brooklyn’s first African-American borough president, and former federal prosecutor Kenneth Thompson unseated long-time incumbent Charles Hynes to become Brooklyn’s first African-American DA.

There were two other races of particular interest: Queens and Manhattan continued their streak being the only two of New York’s five boroughs ever to elect women as borough presidents. Melinda Katz won the Democratic nomination to be the next Queens borough president. She will be the third woman to hold the post – and, since the previous two are Katz’s immediate predecessors, Queens will likely have more than 30 consecutive years of  female BPs, back to 1986.

Meanwhile, the Democratic nominee for Manhattan borough president is City Council Member Gale Brewer, who will become Manhattan’s fourth female borough president.

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