Editorial: Election '13 drama enters final act
The city's primary voters have said a mouthful. They're tired of bad schools. They're sick of stagnant wages. They're fed up with an anemic job market. They're ready for a break from Mike Bloomberg.
And they showed the door to a whole pack of scandal-scarred political veterans looking for redemption.
Congratulations to Democrat Bill de Blasio for running a canny campaign that plugged into the city's discontent with nearly perfect pitch. We won't know whether he faces a runoff until the city's Board of Elections counts paper ballots. But credit also goes to his closest opponent, Bill Thompson, for conducting a principled race and sticking to genuine issues with real solutions.
De Blasio's pitch unfortunately relied on exhortations for "income equality" and a tax on the wealthy to pay for a citywide prekindergarten program -- neither of which he would have any way to deliver as mayor. Thompson made a powerful argument for taking the city to the next level after Bloomberg -- agency by agency -- and he avoided de Blasio's false and gratuitous tale-of-two-cities narrative.
On the Republican side, former MTA chairman Joe Lhota soundly beat billionaire John Catsimatidis despite a television attack-ad blitz. We're eager to see how Lhota's vision for the future of New York stacks up against the blueprint of his Democratic opponent.
The most reassuring message from the primaries: The voting booth is not the right place to seek absolution. Voters were not amused by the circuslike antics that Democratic mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner brought to the race. He lost by a landslide. They also rejected Eliot Spitzer for comptroller and Vito Lopez for City Council -- two other candidates notorious for sexual misbehavior. And they brushed aside John Liu's mayoral bid after a federal court verdict found irregularities in his fundraising operations.
Biggest surprise? The rapid vaporization of Christine Quinn's support. The City Council speaker started the race as Bloomberg's heir but at the end, every group she counted on turned away. This wild primary ride has yet to end, so New York, keep your seat belts fastened.