Brooklyn candidates sweep the primaries

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There’s no question who won the Sept. 10 primaries — Brooklyn!

Residents of the County of Kings won three of the hottest races in the city, with Park Sloper Bill DeBlasio claiming the Democratic nomination for mayor, Brooklyn Heights boy Joe Lhota grabbing the Republican line, and Carroll Gardens state Sen. Daniel Squadron and Fort Greene Councilwoman Letitia James heading into a runoff for Public Advocate.

DeBlasio — who appeared to have won a runoff-proof 40 percent of the vote Tuesday night — came out on top of a pile of candidates hailing from the Borough of Churches — including former Bay Ridge councilman Sal Albanese, former Sheepshead Bay congressman Anthony Weiner, and Bedford-Stuyvesant-born former comptroller Bill Thompson.

Democratic Mayoral race

Public Advocate Bill DeBlasio, standing at six-foot-five-inches-tall, came out on top in the Democratic primary election for mayor Tuesday night.

The 52-year-old Park Sloper squeaked past the magic 40 percent of the votes needed to win the nomination without a runoff by a shy .2 percent, but former comptroller Bill Thompson who finished second with 26 percent of the votes has demanded a recount.

For now it appears as though DeBlasio has avoided a runoff, but as of early Wednesday thousands of paper ballots still needed to be counted, which could take the city’s Board of Elections several days.

If it does come down to a runoff, DeBlasio will faceoff against Thompson, who narrowly lost to Mayor Bloomberg after winning the party’s nomination in 2009, in a runoff election to be held on Oct. 1.

Nonetheless, the former Park Slope councilman who came from behind as a frontrunner in the past few weeks celebrated a victory in the race for hizzoner Tuesday night at The Bell House in Gowanus, which marked the first time that a mayoral candidate ever held an election bash in the industrial neighborhood.

“Let’s recommit ourselves to the movement that got us here to begin with – a commitment to giving every child of our city the chance they deserve, a promise to speak the truth no matter who tries to twist our words or dampen our spirits,” said DeBlasio to a throng of supporters as he gave a speech highlighting his hope to bridge the gap between the rich and the poor.

Thompson, the former deputy borough president, said that he was not ready to concede until every vote was accounted for.

Council Speaker Christine Quinn had 15.5 percent of the votes, Comptroller John Liu had 7 percent, and shamed former congressman Anthony Weiner had a mere 5 percent.

Republican Mayoral race

Lhota, a deputy mayor under the Giuliani Administration and former chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, defeated two Manhattanite opponents — supermarket mogul John Catsimatidis and homeless advocate George McDonald. Lhota won by a with nearly 53–percent of the vote, compared to Catsimatidis’s roughly 40–percent and McDonald’s approximate seven–percent. Lhota vowed to keep the city on its current course as mayor.

“With the right leadership, we can accomplish great things. NYC will continue to be the City of Opportunity where all dreams come true,” the candidate posted on his Twitter account. “Together, we will keep NYC moving forward.”

The race turned nasty during the final weeks. Catsimatidis — founder of the Gristedes grocery chain — launched a massive attack campaign Lhota for voting to raise train and bus fares and bridge tolls as chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, and for referring to Port Authority police as “mall cops” at a debate. Catsimatidis also put out a mailer criticizing Lhota for challenging an elderly Holocaust victim to a fight at an MTA board meeting.

Lhota struck back with a mailer slamming Catsimatidis for backing former Mayor David Dinkins over then-United States Attorney Rudy Giuliani in the 1989 mayoral race. Giuliani has appeared in ads defending Lhota from Catsimatidis’s charges. Catsimatidis struck again on the eve of the election, blaming Lhota for technical problems with first responders’ phones on 9-11, and for placing the Office of Emergency Management inside the World Trade Center complex — despite the bombing in 1993.

Comptroller race

In the citywide comptroller race, departing Manhattan Beep Scott Stringer beat ex-Governor and erstwhile call girl aficionado Elliot Spitzer 52 percent to 48 percent, with 98 percents of precincts reporting. This was one of the night’s few upsets, since Spitzer, perhaps the only disgraced politician running a competent campaign this year, had led Stringer by 19 points as soon as last month, according to Quinnipiac. But in recent weeks, the race had narrowed.

Public Advocate race

Letitia James garnered 36 percent of the vote and Daniel Squadron racked up 33 percent in the Democratic primary for public advocate, knocking out fellow candidates Reshma Saujani, Cathy Guerriero, and Sidique Wai — but ensuring that the pair would face off against each other in a runoff election. Each appeared confident of victory in next month’s rematch.

“Over the next 21 days, we’ll keep talking about my record — about results, reform, and integrity,” said Daniel Squadron, currently a state senator, in a written statement. “And we will talk about my plan to make the Public Advocate’s office essential to our city, getting results for New Yorkers who need them.”

On her twitter, Letitia James, formerly a councilwoman in the 35th district, directed followers to donate to her runoff campaign.

Reach reporter Will Bredderman at or by calling (718) 260-4507. Follow him
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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