It’s a tale of two terms.
A beaming Mayor de Blasio cruised to a reelection victory Tuesday, soundly defeating challenger Nicole Malliotakis to capture a second term amid low turnout and in a race he sought to make more about Washington than New York City.
“Tonight New York City sent a message to the White House as well. Our message was this, you can’t take on New York values and win Mr. President,” de Blasio said in a speech to his supporters at the Brooklyn Museum in Crown Heights. “If you turn against the values of your hometown, your hometown will fight back.”
De Blasio, a Democrat who took City Hall in 2013 with his vow to end a “tale of two cities,” was declared the winner shortly after polls closed Tuesday night. The victory capped a race that featured fights over his record and ethics and treatises on his likability or more commonly lack thereof, but in which he always remained the heavy favorite.
New York City & State 2017 General Election Results
“Well you wanted four more years — you got four more years,” he told chanting fans.
Late Tuesday night, with 99% of votes counted, de Blasio led Malliotakis by a massive margin, with 66% of the vote to her 28%, in a general election campaign that continued a trend of low turnout in the city. With about 1% left to count, the Board of Elections had tallied 1,097,846 votes — meaning about 22% of the city’s registered voters decided the race.
The margin of victory was smaller than de Blasio’s 49-point blowout over Republican Joe Lhota in 2013 — but more than enough to secure de Blasio’s second term, a feat a Democrat hadn’t pulled off in the city since Ed Koch in 1985.
He ran on a reelection platform that contained few new policies — instead promising to build on the ones he made during his come-from-behind campaign in 2013.
Malliotakis continues rants as de Blasio sails in mayoral race
“Tonight there are too many of our fellow New Yorkers who feel the deck is stacked against them, too many who feel they can’t achieve their potential, and you know what the truth is they’re right. Things are still not what they need to be in this city,” he said. “You saw some important changes in the last four years but you ain’t seen nothing yet.”
Voters head to the polls on New York Election Day
In the weeks before the election, the mayor was forced to contend with new testimony by donor Jona Rechnitz, who maintained his big bucks gifts bought him access and favors from City Hall.
But it wasn’t enough to overcome the city’s overwhelming Democratic advantage — and de Blasio’s own record of establishing universal pre-kindergarten and cutting stop and frisk while keeping crime low, which he touted on the trail during an anticlimactic campaign season.
De Blasio had netted a total of 726,361 votes as of around 1:00 a.m., meaning he was reelected by just about 14% of New York City’s voters. Malliotakis, a Republican Assemblywoman from Staten Island, took on de Blasio on a platform she dubbed trash, transit, and traffic — attacking what she perceived as declining quality of life in the city and Hizzoner’s handling of a stubborn homelessness crisis.
De Blasio’s weak stop-and-frisk fix
As the polls closed at her campaign headquarters in Williamsburg’s hip William Vale Hotel, the speakers blared “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” by the Rolling Stones. It was prescient — but the candidate came out to concede at 9:55 p.m. to Tom Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down,” which after a brief speech, she urged her team to play louder.
“You have my word that I will continue to fight for the taxpayers of this city,” she said.
The race also featured bombastic ex-detective Bo Dietl, running as an independent — who turned up the temperature with frequent controversial comments, but had received only about 1% of the vote according to unofficial returns Tuesday night. That put him in sixth place — behind Reform Party candidate Sal Albanese, Green Party candidate Akeem Browder and independent Michael Tolkin.
There were no surprises in other citywide races, with Controller Scott Stringer and Public Advocate Letitia James, both Democrats, blowing out Republican challenges from ex-New York Jet Michel Faulkner and political consultant J.C. Polanco, respectively.
De Blasio, Nicole Malliotakis cast votes in NYC mayoral election
In Manhattan, D.A. Cyrus Vance Jr. had 90% of the vote with 88% counted, despite a spirited write-in campaign from Marc Fliedner following stories about Vance’s office not bringing charges against Harvey Weinstein and Trump’s children after donations from their defense lawyers.
At his victory party Vance declined to talk about the Weinstein case, saying he “can’t comment on an ongoing investigation.”
In Brooklyn, for the seat once held by late D.A. Kenneth Thompson, Democrat Eric Gonzalez won in a landslide against term-limited Councilman Vincent Gentile, a Democrat who ran on the Reform line.
In Westchester, Republican County Executive and onetime gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino lost his seat to Democrat George Latimer, 58% to 42%. In Nassau County, another Democrat, Laura Curran, declared victory over Republican Jack Martins with 51% to his 48%.
Bo Dietl questions photo of de Blasio with activist in head scarf
Back in the city, all 51 City Council seats were on the ballot, but there were only a handful of competitive races with most of the contests dominated by Democrats.
Queens City Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley was locked in a dead heat with challenger Bob Holden, a Democrat running on the Republican line, with each at 50% of the vote. Holden is a neighborhood activist and leader of opponents of a homeless shelter in Maspeth, the same group that drove the defeat of incumbent Assemblywoman Margaret Markey last year.
In one of the hardest fought races in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, Democrat Justin Brannan held onto a narrow lead — 51% to 47% — for the seat being vacated by his former boss Vincent Gentile against Republican state Senate aide John Quaglione.
In the GOP-stronghold of Hempstead, Long Island, Democrat Laura Gillen pulled out a surprise upset, defeating incumbent Town Supervisor Anthony Santino.
With Chelsia Rose Marcius, Esha Ray, Jefferson Siegel, Denis Slattery
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ERIN DURKIN, JILLIAN JORGENSEN