Telling a crowd of cheering supporters that "progressive changes won't happen overnight, but they will happen," Bill de Blasio became the first Democrat to win the city's top office in 20 years with a landslide victory over Republican Joe Lhota Tuesday.
With nearly 100 percent of precincts reporting as of early Wednesday morning, de Blasio held a nearly 50-point edge over Lhota – the largest margin of any non-incumbent mayor in the city's modern history.
De Blasio, the outgoing public advocate, entered Tuesday's vote far ahead of Lhota and Independence Party candidate Adolfo Carrion in recent polls.
The victory caps a significant political turnaround for de Blasio, who was polling in fourth place in the Democratic primary in the summer.
In his victory speech, he addressed the challenges he said lie ahead.
"Our work, all of our work, is really just beginning, and we have no illusions about the task that lies ahead," he said. "Tackling inequality isn't easy. It never has been and it never will be. The challenges we face have been decades in the making, and the problems we set out to address will not be solved overnight. But make no mistake: the people of this city have chosen a progressive path, and tonight, we set forth on it together as one city."
He also thanked his supporters.
"We're proud of what we accomplished in this campaign, and we're humbled by it," he said. "And let me say to you, from the bottom of my heart, thank you. Thank you for all you've done."
"I will never stop fighting for the city I love," he added before he left the stage. "As mayor, I work for you."
Lhota delivered his concession speech at around 9:45 p.m. Tuesday and congratulated de Blasio on his victory.
"The contest has been long and has been difficult. His success alone, however, commands my respect," Lhota said. "I urge all New Yorkers who've supported me in not just congratulating Mayor-Elect de Blasio, but offering our next mayor our good will."
In a Democratic sweep of citywide races, Letitia James rolled to victory as public advocate, while Scott Stringer handily won the race for comptroller.
James garnered 83 percent of the vote, with her nearest challenger, Conservative Party candidate Robert Maresca, getting 12 percent.
James, who won the Democratic nomination after defeating state Senator Daniel Squadron in a runoff election, will be the first African-American woman to ever hold citywide office.
"Yes, this is indeed historical because our government must be representative of all New Yorkers," James said. "We won this election because New Yorkers want a strong, activist public advocate who has the vision, the guts and constitution and the values to stand up for working class and middle class New Yorkers."
Stringer garnered 80 percent of the vote for comptroller, while Republican John Burnett got 17 percent.
Stringer faced a tough primary battle of his own, outlasting former Governor Eliot Spitzer.
At a victory party on Tuesday night, Stringer joked about the primary battle.
"This victory of ours did not come easy. Some of you know that, right?” he said.
Stringer said he was looking forward to working with de Blasio.
"I want to be a comptroller who never forgets that he's here to protect the hardworking people of our great city," he said.
In the race for Brooklyn district attorney, Ken Thompson beat the man he beat in the Democratic primary, longtime DA Charles Hynes. Thompson received almost 75 percent of the vote to Hynes' 26 percent.
After the primary, Hynes decided to run for re-election on the Republican ticket.
Voters also approved several amendments to the state constitution, including one that will allow up to seven casinos to be built around the state.