Bill de Blasio, the Brooklyn Democrat and sitting Public Advocate, was elected the 109th mayor of New York City on Tuesday, carried by a dramatic lead over Republican opponent Joe Lhota and widespread sentiment that the Bloomberg administration had turned against New York’s struggling middle class. The candidate is expected to deliver his victory speech in roughly eight-and-a-half hours before supporters gathered at the Park Slope Armory YMCA.
Based on zero percent of votes counted, Gawker’s decision desk projects that de Blasio will capture 64 percent of the city’s vote, with approximately 24 percent of New Yorkers casting their ballot for Lhota. De Blasio, who ran on a progressive campaign featuring strong criticisms of Bloomberg’s police and housing policies, will be the first Democrat to occupy Gracie Mansion since David Dinkins, who left office in 1993 after a single term.
In an eyebrow-raising move, Lhota has not yet conceded defeat. “The polls haven’t closed, and Joe is still actively campaigning,” Lhota campaign spokesman Robert Tappan told Gawker on Tuesday morning. Political observers told Gawker it is relatively unusual for a candidate not to concede in the face of such overwhelming and certain odds.
De Blasio’s yawning lead over Lhota marks both the success of the winning candidate’s campaign, which filmed several well-received television advertisements featuring de Blasio’s two teenaged children, and a remarkable shift in New Yorkers’ regard for the Bloomberg era that defined the first decade of the new millennium, which de Blasio has repeatedly said created “a tale of two cities,” channeling the Charles Dickens novel about pre-revolutionary Europe. In contrast to today’s victory, Bloomberg edged out then-opponent Bill Thompson in 2009 by just 4.4 points.
De Blasio captured every borough of New York, with Brooklyn giving him the largest margin and Manhattan the smallest. Each tracked demographic—men, women, whites, blacks, Latinos, and Asians—largely favored the Democrat, a sign of his campaign’s skill in parlaying his policy positions—to supporters, a stark repudiation of Bloomberg; to critics, a murky mess—and his media-friendly family. His wife, the activist Chirlane McCray, and their two children, Dante and Chiara, were equally at home on the campaign trail, in television ads, and on the cover of New York magazine.
De Blasio will be sworn in as mayor at New York City Hall on January 1, 2014.
[Photo credit: Associated Press]