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Mayoral Race Heats Up After Presidential Election Ends

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Now that the presidential election has ended, New Yorkers can start to focus on another major race -- the fight for mayor. NY1's Courtney Gross has more.

The field is still wide open, but Democrats have a handful of presumptive mayoral candidates.

Among the possible Democratic candidates are Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, Comptroller John Liu, Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer and former comptroller Bill Thompson, who has already declared.

"A mayoral race is really where combat occurs," Democratic political strategist Hank Sheinkopf said. "On these streets, in a short time frame, where a lot more is at stake for average New Yorkers."

But it's a different story for Republicans, who are only sure of a couple of candidates that are definitely interested.

"We've been speaking to a number of folks who have been out in the press," said Daniel Isaacs, chairman of the Manhattan GOP. "George McDonald or Tom Allon who have already announced their candidacies. I think there are other folks as well who are interested that will emerge in the next few weeks as well."

While some might say they are falling behind, Republican leaders say they can keep control of City Hall. They say their candidates have been in charge for nearly two decades.

"Whoever ultimately we decide on will become the next mayor of the city of New York," Isaacs said.

The Board of Elections wants to move up the mayoral primary to June because they say they won't have time to prepare for a potential runoff -- a strong possibility given how crowded the field is.

"You really put the Board of Elections in an impossibility, which is you are asking us to certify an election and hold a runoff within a two week period," said J.C. Polanco, commissioner of the BOE. "There is just not enough time to certify the 5000 machines and certify the election."

Given the confusion and frustration seen on Election Day this year, some may be more sympathetic of their cause.

But Mayor Michael Bloomberg thinks changing the primary date is absurd.

"They want to change the whole dynamics of how we pick our leaders just to accommodate their schedules," Bloomberg said. "That is as bad an idea. It is such a distortion of what our values are. I can't think of anything more ridiculous."

But ultimately, it is up to the lawmakers in Albany to make that call.

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