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New York Democrats remain in limbo; still unclear if there will be a runoff between de Blasio, Thompson

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Mayoral candidate Bill Thompson speaks on what he thinks is key in the race(PIX11) — The battle for the Democratic nomination for mayor is still on, with no word on whether there will be a runoff between Public Advocate Bill de Blasio  and former Comptroller Bill Thompson.

De Blasio grabbed just over the 40 percent of the vote, enough to avoid a runoff, while Thompson came in at 26 percent. Election officials say it will be at least Monday before all the votes including absentee ballots are counted and a recount is completed. Thompson is gambling that de Blasio’s total will fall below 40 percent, forcing a runoff on Oct. 1.

De Blasio continues to pick up steam. Surrounded by supporters on the steps outside Borough Hall in Brooklyn, he rallied his team, telling them, “If you want to see the beauty of the diversity of New York City just look around me.”

He is also picking up union endorsements including one from Local 32BJ, which represents building workers.  The labor organization had backed City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, but it’s now throwing its muscle behind de Blasio. Other unions are also coming on board.

The union backing could be seen as more evidence of the pressure mounting on Thompson to abandon his push for a runoff, which would cost millions of dollars and divert the Democratic party’s attention from weakening Republican nominee Joe Lhota.

But so far Thompson has vowed to fight on.

“Why?” he recently asked. ” That’s why you run a race.  That’s why we are out here.  Because you want to make sure every vote counts.”

In the meantime, de Blasio is focusing both on a potential runoff and the general election targeting Lhota and current Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

He told the rally in Brooklyn: ” After 12 long years, 12 long years.  We need a change and we need a break from the Bloomberg policies that did not address the crisis of inequality.”


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