Thursday, November 7, 2013

Election 2013 Wrap Up

It's all over but the kvetching. The New York City elections of 2013 are officially over and here's how it played out:

De Blasio won with 73.3% of the vote to Lhota's 24.3%. In raw numbers, that's 752,604 votes to 249,121 (roughly 1 million people voted). De Blasio did well all over the city, sweeping Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, the Bronx and northern Staten Island. Small conservative enclaves went for Lhota: the Upper East Side of Manhattan, parts of northeastern and central and southern Queens, southern Brooklyn, southern Staten Island, and little parts of Riverdale and City Island in the Bronx. Basically, De Blasio got the meal and Lhota got the table scraps. De Blasio won in every demographic and age group. It was a complete and total route.

The borough president and DA races played out as predicted yesterday. Four Democrats and 1 Republican will run the boroughs and four Democrats and 1 Republican will prosecute criminals. No surprises there.

City council races also played out much as predicted with a couple of interesting results in Queens. In Bayside, Democrat Paul Vallone bested Republican Dennis Saffran. This is the swingiest swing district in NYC but Vallone won by nearly 60% -- proving its effectiveness as a bellwether for the city as a whole. Meanwhile Republican Erich Ulrich held on in Howard Beach winning with 53% of the vote, the closest council race of the night. Vallone's win was due largely to the Democratic trend this year but Ulrich's had much to do with the power of effective incumbency which helped him to defy the trend. So we will have 48 Democrats and 3 Republicans in the city council next year -- a net Democratic gain of 1 seat.

What's interesting about this election is that it's two things at once: a strong mandate for progressive policies but also a re-affirmation of the status quo in terms of who, for the most part, will actually carry them out. It's like traveling to a new location with a GPS.

As NYC enters a new era, we are a city thirsting for both change and stability, keeping the progress we've made (in crime, education, public health, the budget) while also making a new kind of progress (in jobs, housing, education).

How it plays out over the next four years is the big question currently hanging over our city.  

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