Wednesday, December 17, 2014

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Green, Ferrer Reach Runoff

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Mark Green and Fernando Ferrer will meet in a runoff election on October 11 after finishing in the top two spots in Tuesday's Democratic mayoral primary.

Other Democratic winners Tuesday included former Board of Education president Bill Thompson, who defeated City Councilman Herb Berman in the city comptroller primary; and former Parks Commissioner Betsy Gotbaum, who won one of the two runoff spots in the race for public advocate.

Bloomberg L.P. founder Michael Bloomberg handily won the Republican mayoral primary against former CUNY Chairman Herman Badillo.

Based on reports from 95 percent of the city's precincts, Ferrer, the Bronx borough president, received 35 percent of the Democratic mayoral vote, with Green, the public advocate, garnering 31 percent. Neither candidate received the 40 percent of the vote necessary to win outright.

City Council Speaker Peter Vallone received 20 percent of the vote, while City Comptroller Alan Hevesi polled 12 percent.

Both Ferrer and Green addressed the September 11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center during their acceptance speeches.

"In that hour of horror and the aftermath, we re-learned two inspiring lessons about our city," Green told his supporters Tuesday night. "We really are one people and one city, with one future based on a common experience, with the obligation to seek common ground; and second, many of us who visit 'Ground Zero' are struck not only by the devastation, but also by the enduring twin towers of our city - our altruism and our heroism."

"For the next 16 days there will be a runoff in the campaign for mayor, but it won't be a normal campaign because these are not normal times," Green continued. "Our campaigns must be utterly focused on the future, on how we can unite and rebuild the city, how to protect our families, how to begin the renewal, and we have to - and I am confident we will - avoid the kind of petty, personal, negative attacks that divert the public."

"This is not just a time to rejoice, but a time to renew," Ferrer said in his speech. "Even as we recover our victims from the rubble we understand that rebuilding our devastated financial district is not just an economic imperative, it's a spiritual imperative as well. And that great work will require and demand all of us to reach across the aisle and reach out to those with whom we've sometimes been at odds to forge a new alliance with our federal, state and local governments, business and labor, to repair the incredible damage to the infrastructure and the economy of Lower Manhattan."

Ferrer went on to say, "I heartily congratulate Mark Green on his campaign, and look forward to seeing more of him in the weeks to come. We're going to get real close as we share our ideas and our ideals with all the people of New York. To say the least, we are pleased with today's result."

Hevesi delivered a concession speech about an hour after the polls closed at 9 p.m., but Vallone was not ready to concede when he addressed his supporters shortly before midnight. He later offered his concession to the victors.

On the Republican side, Michael Bloomberg coasted to an easy victory over Herman Badillo for the GOP spot on November's mayoral ballot. Results based on 95 percent of the city's precincts gave Bloomberg 72 percent of the vote and Badillo 28 percent.

In his acceptance speech Tuesday night, Bloomberg touched on the issues New York City voters face in the wake of the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center.

"This city is at a crossroads," Bloomberg told his assembled supporters. "It's time to step back and consider the monumental task ahead. All of a sudden, what New York City needs has changed, and changed dramatically. We've weathered the crisis and now we face the rebuilding - an enterprise no city has ever faced before. The central question facing the voters on November 6 will be this: who has the knowledge, who has the experience, and who has the track record to handle the enormous job of rebuilding our city and moving forward?"

Turnout was light for the primary, in part due to the lingering effects of the September 11 attack on the World Trade Center. The race was further complicated by Mayor Rudolph Giuliani's recent surge in popularity and his indication over the last few days that he might attempt to challenge the existing term limit laws in order seek a third term in office.

Nevertheless, initial numbers indicated that the mayoral returns generally mirrored the polls taken prior to the terrorist attack.

In the city comptroller contest, Bill Thompson defeated Herb Berman in the primary's most contentious race, garnering 54 percent of the vote to Berman's 46. Thompson is expected to run unopposed in the general election.

The crowded public advocate race is coming down to the wire, with four candidates battling within a few thousands votes between each other for the second runoff spot.

With 95 percent of all precincts reporting, former Parks Commissioner Betsy Gotbaum has secured the first runoff spot with 24 percent of the vote, with composer/performer Willie Colon, former ACLU Director Normal Siegel, State Assemblymember Scott Stringer, and City Councilmembers Stephen DiBrienza all tied for second place with 16 percent of the vote.

The top two vote-getters will advance to the October 11 runoff. Absentee ballots, which won't be counted until the weekend, may decide the second candidate to advance.

City Councilmembers Kathryn Freed and speech pathologist Sheila Flaxman are running seventh and eighth.

In the Borough president races, Adolpho Carrion holds a narrow three-point lead in the Bronx with 95 percent of all precincts counted, while Helen Marshall holds a comfortable 22-point lead with 91 percent of all precincts reporting in Queens. In Brooklyn, Marty Markowitz is holding a seven-point lead on the treshold of avoiding a runoff with 87 percent of all precincts reporting.

On Staten Island, James Molinaro holds a comfortable 30-point lead in that borough's Republican borough president primary with 96 percent the borough's precincts reporting.

There are also races for City Council and county judgeships throughout the five boroughs.

Due to changes in the city's vote-tabulation system brought about by the World Trade Center attack, voting officials say that results of some races might not be known for several days.

Complete election results for those races reporting returns can be found at NY1's 2001 Election Section. ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP