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Continued: De Blasio finishes 1st in NYC mayoral primary, but unclear if he'll face a runoff

  • Article by: JONATHAN LEMIRE , Associated Press
  • Last update: September 11, 2013 - 1:55 AM

"I'm a lefty and I've had enough of the righties," said Jessica Safran, a business consultant from the Boerum Hill section of Brooklyn who voted for de Blasio. "Even if de Blasio moves to the center if he gets elected, he'll be closer to the positions I want than the others."

All the candidates were hosting election night rallies in venues across the city. Each gathering went silent for 15 minutes when President Barack Obama addressed the nation on the situation in Syria.

Quinn was the front-runner for much of the year, boasting the biggest campaign war chest and strong establishment backing. But she was dogged by her support to change term limits to let Bloomberg run again in 2009, a decision unpopular with liberals who make up the bulk of Democratic primary voters.

Turnout appeared light, but the city's complaint line received several thousand voting-related calls. Many reported jams and breakdowns in the antiquated lever machines, which were hauled out of retirement to replace much-maligned electronic devices.

The mayoral campaign was waged in hundreds of candidate forums and across millions of dollars of TV ads and was largely fought on the legacy of the Bloomberg era. Substantial policy differences were scarce among the Democrats, who agreed that the school system needed an overhaul, that the city's poor had been forgotten, and that stop-and-frisk police tactics used to stop suspicious people needed changing amid claims that police unfairly targeted blacks and Latinos.

Weiner surprisingly entered the race in May after being in political exile since resigning from Congress in 2011 upon admitting to lewd online exchanges with women who were not his wife.

His candidacy sparked curiosity and popular interest, and he immediately shot to the top of the polls. But support collapsed almost as quickly when he revealed in July that he continued the online behavior even after his resignation from federal office.

On the Republican side, the candidates largely pledged to follow Bloomberg's lead, focusing on maintaining the city's record low crime rates. Lhota led the race from start to finish, fending off Catsimatidis' self-financed, unorthodox bid. Catsimatidis spent more than $4 million of his own money but was unable to stage a serious challenge.

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