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2013 race for NYC mayor

New Yorkers will elect their next mayor in November.

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UPPER EAST SIDE, Manhattan (PIX11) – Bill de Blasio and his family reside on a quiet street in Park Slope, Brooklyn. Mayor or not, neighbors describe de Blasio as just a nice guy.

“I’ve lived here for 45 years and he’s been on the block quite some time,” one neighbor said.

But, with a new job comes new digs: Gracie Mansion, which has been home to nine mayors. Gracie Mansion has been vacant for the past 12 years, as Michael Bloomberg chose to live at his own house.

For de Blasio, moving will be a big decision for his son Dante, who attends Brooklyn Tech and would have a lengthy commute from the Upper East Side.

His current neighbors have their own reasons for wanting him to stay in Park Slope. “It’s been fun seeing the candidate every couple of days,” a neighbor said. “I enjoy the little bits of face time I get with him.”

“It’d make a very nice impression and he and his family are very nice neighbors,” another added.

During the campaign, de Blasio did say he would move his family into Gracie Mansion but recently has said it’s a decision he will make with his wife and son.

 

NEW YORK (PIX11) - “A lot of them are bold, a lot of them are big changes, and they are an attempt to address a problem that is decades in the making,” said Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio.

One day one, Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio said he’s convinced he’s going to have a good batting average, but is not promising perfection in office.

He’s promised to help the homeless,  he’s expected to replace Ray Kelly and he’s said he’d raise taxes on high income New Yorkers to help fund pre-k and after school programs.

Chris Smith is a political writer for New York Magazine who has spent time with de Blasio.

“A few of those things he can do on his own, but the bigger things require help in Albany, the cooperation of real estate developers and that’s going to take a long time and be harder to achieve,” said Smith.

De blasio started his first day with a meeting with Mayor Bloomberg.

“The Mayor’s body language showed that he’s not happy about leaving office,” said Smith.

Many New Yorkers told us their hopes are high for de Blasio.

“I hope he can make a positive change for the city,” said Danielle Jennings of the Bronx.

There is hope, but despite the election results, there are still some questions about De blasio’s proposals really becoming a reality.

“The question about De blasio is that he’s never run anything remotely as big as New York City,” said Smith.

“None of us is going to promise people perfection any day soon,” said De Blasio. “We’re saying we’re going to be very aggressive.”

He has business degree from Harvard, a Wall Street background, major experience as a Deputy Mayor, and service as Chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

But even that kind of pedigree wasn’t enough for 59-year old Joe Lhota to make a significant dent in Bill DeBlasio’s lead in the race for Mayor of New York City.

Lhota, a Bronx native and the son of a former NYPD officer, made his concession speech at 9:45 pm Tuesday.

“I have made a phone call to Mayor-elect de Blasio,” Lhota announced to a small room filled with supporters. “He is going to be the 109th Mayor of New York City.”

Lhota made a joke about not using his family in campaign ads, a tool de Blasio utilized successfully, to argue against the NYPD’s controversial stop-and-frisk policy. Lhota had indicated he would continue that policy to keep crime down.

“I have fought the good fight,” Lhota said, quoting from scripture, a letter from Saint Paul to Timothy. “I have kept the faith.”

Ironically, a pop song called “Don’t Stop Believing” was booming from the speaker system, before Lhota emerged to make his speech. That was the same song played in the final scene from the hit series, “The Sopranos,” when the character, Tony Soprano, may or may not  have gotten whacked.

There’s no disputing that Joe Lhota took a political whacking Tuesday night. But Lhota always knew winning would be a difficult task in a city that seemed to yearn for a sharp change in direction from the Michael Bloomberg administration, as successful as it was.

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(Photo/Marvin Scott)

(CNN) — New York City voters Tuesday elected a Democrat to the mayor’s office for the first time in two decades, giving progressive city Public Advocate Bill de Blasio a victory over Republican nominee Joe Lhota, Edison Media Research projects.

De Blasio had been widely expected to pull out a landslide win. In the days before the election, polls indicated he was ahead of his opponent by about 40 percentage points.

At the center of the race were disagreements over taxes and the city’s controversial “stop-and-frisk” program backed by incumbent Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

De Blasio campaigned on a promise to raise taxes on those earning more than $500,000 a year to pay for universal pre-kindergarten, an idea Lhota vehemently opposed.

While Lhota painted himself as a fiscal conservative, he sought distance from national Republicans on social issues by reiterating his support of abortion rights and same-sex marriage.

As for the stop-and-frisk policing tactics — which critics call racial profiling — de Blasio said he would replace Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, appoint an independent inspector general and take sufficient steps to end the searches.

Lhota, former GOP Mayor Rudolph Giuliani’s deputy and former head of the city Transit Authority, pointed to the sharp reduction of crime under Kelly and was more eager to defend the program, though he agreed it needed to be reworked.

The stop-and-frisk policy — in which police stop, question and frisk people they deem suspicious, even if they’ve committed no crime — has been one of the most controversial policing techniques in recent time. Law enforcement and other proponents say the practice works to reduce crime.

The mayoral race in the Big Apple was often called a political circus before the primary, when former Rep. Anthony Weiner faced new allegations of his infamous sexting habits.

Weiner had strong numbers in the polls as he started his campaign, suggesting New York was ready to forgive the disgraced ex-congressman. But those numbers quickly plummeted as he refused to drop out of the race after he admitted to having online relationships with women even after he resigned from Congress.

He eventually placed fifth in the crowded Democratic primary.

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, a lesbian who would have been the city’s first female mayor, was also thought to be a strong contender early on. But as the months went on leading up to Primary Day, she saw her numbers slip, as de Blasio and former comptroller Bill Thompson gained more popularity.

De Blasio, who rose to prominence while also spotlighting his interracial family, narrowly avoided a runoff with Thompson.

The last Democrat to win the office was David Dinkins in 1989.

NEW YORK (PIX11) - Even though his campaign banner, behind the mayoral-looking podium, was the smallest PIX 11 had ever seen at an Election Night party, Joe Lhota–the Republican candidate for New York City Mayor–was making big predictions of an upset. Even though the recent polls showed him behind by as much as 40 points.

“Everything I’ve done, I’ve wanted to do,” Lhota told reporters, who asked if he would have run his campaign any differently. “I’m very optimistic about tonight.”  Lhota had just finished voting with his wife and daughter at Congregation Mount Sinai in Brooklyn Heights.

Lhota went so far as to invoke the memory of the 1948 presidential election, when the pundits said Thomas Dewey would beat Harry Truman. Truman pulled off a famous upset.

Lhota said early Tuesday he was writing an acceptance speech.

The 59-year old Bronx native–a Harvard business grad who worked on Wall Street, then as deputy mayor under Rudy Giuliani, and more recently, as chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, had a great résumé going into the general election–but a tough time seeing his message resonate with New Yorkers.

Lhota blamed some of his difficulties on “voter fatigue” with twelve years of Mayor Bloomberg, who was first elected running as a Republican.

Lhota had said he would continue one of Bloomberg’s controversial, crime-fighting strategies: stop and frisk. DeBlasio flew to the front of the pack in the Democratic primary race, after his teen son made a campaign ad against the practice.

Lhota criticized DeBlasio for running an emotional campaign that played on a “tale of two cities” where only the wealthy have been thriving.

Lhota has working-class roots: his father was a New York City police officer. One grandfather was a firefighter and the other a New York City cab driver.  Yet de Blasio tried to portray the moderate Republican as a Tea Party supporter, after Lhota had a meeting with Tea Party members on Staten Island.

Though Lhota could sometimes appear stiff on camera, he did “bust a move” with a woman in Harlem who asked him to dance. And he playfully flashed his paper ballot at reporters, as he waited to get his vote scanned. Tuesday night, he was expected at the Gansevoort Park Avenue Hotel to wait for the final vote results.

In the mayoral race, it’s the tale of two candidates. Voters in the city haven’t had such a distinctively different choice since Rudy Giuliani ran against David Dinkins in 1989 and lost.

Bill de Blasio has energized the democratic base with his pledge to be the voice for the forgotten, the city’s middle class,while republican Joe Lhota is running as the candidate who has the managerial skills to make New York safe, secure and business friendly.

It’s estimated that $50 million have been spent on the campaign.  A de Blasio victory will cost the city almost a million dollars over the next four years because he will take the $225,000 a year salary. Billionaire mayor Mike Bloomberg didn’t accept the salary, instead opting to take just $1 a year.

A victory for de Blasio would make him the first democrat to occupy City Hall since Mayor Dinkins left and the first real progressive mayor since John Lindsay.

With the mayoral election just days away, candidates Joe Lhota and Bill de Blasio are making their final push to voters.

Both candidates were blazing the campaign trail Sunday, with de Blasio still holding a tremendous lead over Lhota.

At times, the mayoral campaign has sounded more like a referendum on the past administrations of David Dinkins and Rudy Giuliani.

Joe lot suggested a vote for his opponent who worked in the Dinkins’ administration would mean a throwback to days of lawlessness, while de Blasio has taken swipes at Giuliani, in whose administration Lhota was a Deputy Mayor. De Blasio has accused Giuliani of being divisive and bad for the city.

This past Wednesday, the former Mayor sat down with Marvin Scott for an interview to talk about the campaign, the attacks against him, and what he perceives as some of the dangerous policies of Bill de Blasio.

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