A defiant Bill Thompson says he will push a runoff, even at the expense of taxpayers and fellow democrats

Democratic leaders are worried about a runoff between Bill de Blasio and Bill Thompson, the two top democrats, so close to the November election.

When asked why he would engage the city in a runoff, Thompson replied, “Why? Because that’s why you run a race. That’s why we’re out here because you want to make sure every vote is counted.” Despite calls from democratic leaders to quit now, Thompson remains steadfast.

Even the day of the primary, eventual winner de Blasio was already anticipating a runoff. “We’re ready for a runoff and we’ve been planning all along for it. “

But, are the voters and taxpayers ready?

The 2009 primary runoff for City Comptroller and Public Advocate cost taxpayers about $15 million. The City Council and State Senate are eying bills that would outlaw the practice.

The numbers are compelling: de Blasio took Tuesday’s primary vote by 40.2% to Thompson’s 26%. Thompson says of the 600,000 votes cast, de Blasio only reached a higher percentage by only about 700 votes. There are also an estimated 30,000 votes that remain uncounted, along with thousands of absentee ballots.

The normal court-supervised recount begins Thursday.

Bill de Blasio plans to hold a democratic unity rally at Borough Hall, starting at noon.

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