After primary, election kicks into gear
Wasting no time kicking off the general election race for mayor, Democrat Bill Thompson Wednesday lit into Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who campaigned in Queens with the city’s last three-term chief executive: Ed Koch.
Thompson once again pounded Bloomberg for pushing through an extension of term limits.
“Voters are still angry about the mayor’s leadership on changing terms limits, they’re angry about him breaking his word,” said Thompson, who current is the city comptroller.
The Bloomberg campaign, which has been sending out near-daily e-mails blasting Thompson’s record, yesterday continued to hammer him, pointing out that more people voted for other citywide races than mayor in the Tuesday primaries.
“Yesterday’s record low turnout reflects two things: a failure on the part of Bill Thompson to inspire New Yorkers and a comfort level among voters with the direction this city is going under Mike Bloomberg’s leadership,” campaign spokeswoman Jill Hazelbaker wrote in an e-mail.
Bloomberg, who will appear on the Republican and Independence Party lines in November, did not face a primary.
Meanwhile, four Democratic candidates vying for the other two citywide races — comptroller and public advocate — spent yesterday gearing up for a runoff election on Sept. 29.Public Advocate
Front-runner Mark Green finished second in the primaries behind City Councilman Bill de Blasio (D-Brooklyn), who outperformed many pre-election polls, garnering 33 percent of the votes.
“Mark Green did not reap the benefit everyone expected he would from his name recognition,” said Michael Krasner, a political science professor at Queens College, who gave de Blasio the edge in the runoff.
Asked during a news conference Wednesday at City Hall if he fell short of expectations, Green, a former two-term public advocate who got 31 percent of the votes, brushed aside the question.
“Expectations, shmexpectations,” he said. “‘We’re both in the finals.’”
City Councilman John Liu (D-Flushing), as many predicted, came out on top, though in falling just short of the 40 percent needed for the runoff, will face council colleague David Yassky, who surprised many in coming in ahead of Councilwoman Melinda Katz (D-Forest Hills).
Liu, a favorite with labor and much of the party’s left wing, will also benefit from a more united vote in Queens, which he had to split with Katz and Councilman David Weprin (D-Hollis) in the primary.
Yassky, whose strength is primarily in Manhattan and brownstone Brooklyn, will also likely get support from fellow lawyers, experts said.City Council
In an unusual turn in the city elections, four incumbent lost their city council seats. Alan Gerson of Manhattan, Helen Sears of Jackson Heights, Kenneth Mitchell of Staten Island and Kendall Stewart of Brooklyn were all defeated.
Councilman Thomas White of Brooklyn was clinging to a small lead while Councilwoman Maria Baez of the Bronx was losing by a small margin.
Election officials will need to count absentee ballots before determining the winners.
Baruch College political science professor Doug Muzzio said the council elections are unlikely to portend anything for the mayoral race, “unless it’s really tapping into a widespread anti-incumbent sentiment.”