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Democrats Stress Party Unity Heading Towards General Election

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Though Democrats far outnumber Republicans in New York, Gracie Mansion has been off-limits to Democratic mayoral contenders for nearly the past two and a half decades, a fact Democrats made clear they hope to change this year at a City Hall rally Monday. NY1's Josh Robin filed the following report.

The last time a Democratic was sworn in at City Hall was in 1990.

Almost 24 years after David Dinkins' inaugural, some recalling that day were again at City Hall on Monday, seeming downright giddy at the prospect they would at last be swearing in one of their own.

"It's been so long, that I have to pinch myself and wait until it's all over," said Congressman Charles Rangel.

"We Democrats are going into November with a full head of steam," said Democratic candidate for city comptroller Scott Stringer.

The November election is not for seven weeks. Things can change, but Democrats see their best chance in Bill de Blasio.

And although ballots remained to be counted, Bill Thompson has now been sidelined.

The primary is over, and focus is turning to the general election against Republican Joe Lhota.

Though de Blasio's former rival Christine Quinn was not present on Monday, she is expected to stump with him on Tuesday.

Democrat strategists, as well as the party's most powerful elected official, hope they've read their last story about a divided party.

"I wanted to be here to support Bill and to help unify the Democratic party," said Governor Andrew Cuomo. "I think it now enters into a new stage. We're really headed towards the general election, and I wanted to be part of that."

Mayor Michael Bloomberg says he isn't going to endorse in the mayoral race, but that doesn't mean he's going to keep quiet.

The mayor is expected to keep defending his legacy, as it's attacked.

He did as much Monday, as Democrats promised change.

"We have worked as hard as we can for 12 years," Bloomberg said. "The vote that matters to me is the vote of people moving into the city, versus out, for the first time since the '50s. More people are moving into New York City than are moving out of New York City."

In dismissing Bloomberg, Democrats talk of other numbers.

"We have 51,000 children in homeless shelters, and nobody is talking about it," said Michael Mulgrew from the United Federation of Teachers.

Even though de Blasio has been a player in New York politics for almost two decades, Democrats see in him and his family a new face that is reflective of a new city.

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