The rollicking campaign for mayor of New York City came to a climax with Bill de Blasio, the city’s public advocate, winning the first-place position in a crowded field of candidates in the Democratic primary seeking to succeed Michael R. Bloomberg.
Separately, in a non-mayoral election result, Kenneth Thompson, a lawyer in private practice, won the Democratic primary to become the first African-American district attorney in Brooklyn, defeating longtime incumbent, Charles J. Hynes.
While de Blasio was in first place in the primary, it was unclear whether he had received the 40 percent of the vote necessary to avoid a runoff. In preliminary, unofficial results with 97 percent of the precincts reporting, de Blasio had 40.2 percent of the primary vote with William C. Thompson Jr., the former city comptroller, in second place with 26 percent of the vote.
If de Blasio’s total falls below 40 percent, he and Thompson will face each other in an October 1 runoff election.
The de Blasio campaign surged ahead in public support as gained more attention for speaking of the disparities facing various New Yorkers and for calling for a vastly different vision for the city than that of Mayor Bloomberg. He spoke critically of the city’s policing strategies, which he said unfairly victimized young people of color, as well as income inequality in New York City.
It was an election that saw the dashed political prospects of candidates who earlier led in the polls, including City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and Anthony Weiner, the former congressman who resigned from the House of Representatives following a texting scandal. Quinn came in third place with 15 percent of the vote, with Weiner receiving slightly less than 5 percent and placing fifth.
The results reflected the fact that de Blasio, who is white, garnered a larger share of the African-American vote than Thompson, the only Black candidate in the race. In fact, in the city’s majority-Black neighborhoods, de Blasio received 47 percent of the vote, compared with Thompson, who received 34 percent of the vote in those areas. Quinn came in a distant fifth, with 4 percent of the vote.
During the campaign, de Blasio spoke strongly of his fierce opposition to the city’s stop-and-frisk program, which was championed by the Bloomberg administration, which characterized the program as an important crime fighting tool.
However, de Blasio criticized the program as nothing more than sanctioned racial profiling, In fact, de Blasio, who is married to a Black woman, featured his mixed-race teenage son, Dante, in a campaign commercial denouncing stop and frisk as a potential threat to young people like his son.
BET National News - Keep up to date with breaking news stories from around the nation, including headlines from the hip hop and entertainment world. Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.
(Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images)