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De Blasio Joins State Pols In Puerto Rico For Annual Conference

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TWC News: De Blasio Joins State Pols In Puerto Rico For Annual Conference
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Democratic lawmakers from New York are toasting Bill de Blasio's big win at their annual conference in Puerto Rico. NY1's Grace Rauh filed the following report.

SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO - Puerto Rico and New York City have close ties, but the island is also special for Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio for other reasons. This is the first place that de Blasio and his wife traveled to as a couple.

"It's wonderful to be here," he said. "This is truly an enchanted place, if I may say."

De Blasio reminisced about past trips to Puerto Rico outside the governor's mansion in San Juan. He was on his way to have dinner with the governor and his wife.

De Blasio said that he is eager to build a close-working relationship with the governor. It may help that both men are actually Red Sox fans.

"He is maybe the only New Yorker that is a Red Sox fan, and I'm maybe the only Puerto Rican that's a Red Sox fan," said Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla of Puerto Rico.

De Blasio is in San Juan not just to meet with Puerto Rican officials, but with ones from New York as well. Democratic politicians from New York are ready to celebrate his win and the return of a Democrat to City Hall for the first time in 20 years.

"I'm extremely excited at this candidacy and what it represents about a progressive vision moving forward the city of New York," said City Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito, whose district covers parts of Manhattan and the Bronx.

"We have the first Democratic mayor that we've had in 20 years, and I think there's a great deal of excitement, and people want to be able to talk to him one on one and really think about how we can help advance his agenda," said City Councilman Daniel Garodnick of Manhattan.

Speaking of agendas, de Blasio is hardly the only New York politician in Puerto Rico who has one. There are several candidates for speaker of the City Council in town, a race that is just getting started.

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