In a nail biter of a race Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg was narrowly elected for a third term over his Democratic challenger and Brooklyn native William Thompson.
With 99 percent of the vote tabulated at press time, Bloomberg, who ran on the Republican Party line, received 51 percent or 556,775 to Thompson 46 percent or 506,501 votes.
In his victory speech, Bloomberg said voters have chosen progress over politics and chose keep the crime rate low and public schools getting better.
“The voters have spoken and now it’s up to us to deliver,” Bloomberg said.
Although Bloomberg won a third term in office, the billionaire mayor spent nearly $100 million in his re-election bid and had to overcome voter disenchantment after he legislated in a repeal of term limits that city voters twice approved in public referendums.
“Bloomberg overturned term limits and I didn’t like that,” said one borough voter outside the Municipal Building polling place in Downtown Brooklyn. “But Thompson didn’t make his talents or skills known so I had to vote on gut feeling and research I did myself.”
Another voter who said they voted for Thompson outside the same polling place said they did so because they believe in term limits.
“You’ve got to stir the soup,” she said.
Several other polling places reported low turnout, including the PS 179, at 202 Avenue C in Kensington, where a poll worker said they also believed Bloomberg’s overturning of term limits played a part on voter apathy.
But the election was a moment to savor for one recently naturalized American citizen, who requested anonymity and who was among the first to cast his vote at the PS 207 Annex Early Childhood Center, 3920 Flatlands Avenue.
“It was a tremendously fulfilling, exciting and wonderful experience to be part of a real democratic process, which treats voters like human beings and not objects to be strong-armed, invalidated or even disposed of, like in some other countries,” he said, adding it was his first time ever voting in his new country.