NEW YORK: New Yorkers voted yesterday for a Republican and a Democratic candidate who will battle it out in November to replace billionaire Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
The Big Apple has been under the bold and brash leadership of its richest man for 12 years and, amid much soul-searching over Bloomberg’s legacy, many remain torn over who should succeed him.
“I really vacillated until the last minute,” said Rosemary Wakeman, a professor at Fordham University, after voting in 55th street, Manhattan.
In the end, Wakeman went with left-leaning Democrat Bill de Blasio, 52, who has firmly led polls since mid-August on an anti-Bloomberg platform, accusing the mayor of overseeing a widening gap between rich and poor.
“I think I became less supportive of Bloomberg’s policies,” said Wakeman outside the polling station where there were no queues. New York is known for extremely poor voter turnout, but a coordinator said there had been “a good flow” of voters.
The city is overwhelmingly Democratic even though it has not elected a mayor from that party in two decades. Candidates will have to secure 40 percent of the primary vote to avoid an October 1 run-off. The mayoral election is on November 1.
A Quinnipiac University poll said De Blasio would win with 39 percent if the mayoral election were held now. Former frontrunner Christine Quinn has presented herself as Bloomberg’s natural successor, vaunting her accomplishments in office.