De Blasio leads primary, but may face runoff; Lhota secures GOP nomination

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Public Advocate and Democratic mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio speaking to supporters in Brooklyn on primary election night. Photo via Twitter/@deBlasioNYC
Public Advocate and Democratic mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio speaking to supporters in Brooklyn on primary election night.

Tuesday came and went with a mayoral Republican nominee but an unclear outcome in the Democratic primary.

Public Advocate Bill de Blasio’s last minute momentum was enough to secure him a first place finish, but not necessarily enough to earn him the nomination without a runoff.

Though he beat former City Comptroller Bill Thompson by a significant lead, he was still hovering around the 40 percent threshold needed to avoid an October 1 election, according to unofficial results.

With 98 percent of precincts reporting, de Blasio had 40 percent and Thompson had 26 percent.

“What we have achieved here tonight, and what we’ll do in the next round of this campaign, won’t just change the view of how things look inside City Hall, but will change the policies that have left behind so many of our fellow New Yorkers outside of City Hall,” de Blasio said to his supporters in Brooklyn on Tuesday.

“I think we all know that this race is incredibly close and there are still tens of thousands of ballots that remain to be counted,” Thompson told his supporters that night.

“But every voice in New York City counts,” he also said, “and we’re going to wait for every voice to be heard. We’re going to wait for every voice to be counted.”

Lhota easily secured his party nomination with 53 percent of the vote, beating grocery store mogul John Catsimatidis, who had 41 percent, and Doe Fund founder George McDonald, who had 7 percent.

“Ladies and gentlemen, tonight represents a mile marker on our road to victory in November. Our journey continues—just at a faster pace,” said Lhota speaking to supporters. “Now is the time for our party to come together and unite for the common good.”

It was no surprise the ex-MTA chairman and former deputy mayor under Rudy Giuliani won, as recent polls predicted.

Unlike the GOP Primary, the Democratic race not only had various front-runners, but also more controversy.

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn was the early front-runner, but when former Congressmember Anthony Weiner entered the race in May, her lead shrunk in the polls.

Weiner, however, soon faced another sexting scandal, and he lost favorability with voters.

In August, de Blasio started to gain in the polls, and became the front-runner. He eventually surged ahead, and, in some surveys, even had enough support to avoid a runoff.

As the race drew closer, some of those same polls showed Quinn losing support among voters, and even predicted her third place finish.

In the primary, Quinn had 16 percent, followed by John Liu with 7 percent.

Liu, the only mayoral candidate from Queens, was optimistic that his numbers on election night would be better than the single digits the polls were showing, but his campaign was facing fundraising issues.

Though he was never accused of any wrongdoing, two of his campaign workers were found guilty in connection to illegally funneling funds to his campaign, and he was denied millions in campaign public matching funds.

Weiner finished behind Liu, with 5 percent, even though he was polling better than him.

“We had the best ideas,” Weiner said, giving his concession speech. “Sadly I was an imperfect messenger.”