Bill de Blasio avoids runoff; Joseph Lhota secures GOP win


New York, NEW YORK - After last Tuesday’s primary elections for NYC mayor, the race narrows down to two competitors: Democrat, Bill de Blasio and Republican, Joe Lhota. Mayor Michael Bloomberg had formerly held the seat for the past 12 years. Bill de Blasio, who lead the polls strongly before Tuesday, barely secured the necessary 40 percent needed to avoid a runoff election on Oct. 1, according to The Huffington Post. Fellow Democrats Christine Quinn and John Liu conceded the race early on Tuesday night, but the runner-up of the Democratic primary, William Thompson, assured he would not stop fighting  and that “this is far from over.”

AP photo.

But with 99 percent of the precincts counted at publication, de Blasio’s 40.3 percent could be sufficient to predict his victory.

For the Republican side, former MTA chief, Joe Lhota beat grocery mogul, John Catsimatidis 52.5-40.7 percent with 99 percent of the precincts reported, according to The Huffington Post. Unlike Democratic rival de Blasio, who won in all five boroughs, Lhota failed to win total support from his party (Rep. John Catsimatidis won in Staten Island).

One of the key issues in the mayoral race is education, and de Blasio has proposed a plan to increase taxes on those making over $500,000 to “dramatically expand after-school programs for all middle schools students, and to create truly universal pre-K programs,” according to his campaign’s website.

Tristan Kelley (’14), chairman of The King's College Republicans, said that increasing taxes won't solve the education problem and believes the focus should instead be “on closing bad and low performing schools so that you are spending less on operating schools that aren't giving children the adequate education they need to be successful.”

The race for NYC mayor now pits de Blasio and Lhota against each other in a city where registered Democrats outnumber registered Republicans six-to-one. However, New York City hasn’t had a Democratic mayor since 1993, with Rudy Giuliani, a Republican, holding the seat from 1994 to 2001, and Independent Mayor Michael Bloomberg holding the seat from 2002 until today.

Concerning Lhota’s chances of beating de Blasio, Charlie Freeman (’15), TKC Republicans director of communications, said, "The odds are against the noticeably more conservative Lhota, but since New York has had a Republican mayor for almost 20 years, he isn't a lost cause in any sense.”

The final mayoral election will occur Nov. 5.