Mayor Bill de Blasio says New Yorkers have given him a mandate, despite the fact that a record-low percentage of voters actually cast ballots in the mayor's race. He doubled down Wednesday on his plan to make New York a more fair city, and brushed aside questions about his political ambitions by saying he is focused on the job at-hand. NY1 Political Reporter Grace Rauh filed the following report.
Mayor de Blasio strolled into City Hall just before 1 p.m. Wednesday to have his say about the election.
"The people of New York City delivered a message loud and clear. They delivered a mandate," de Blasio reflected.
It was a word that the mayor used repeatedly during his Blue Room news conference at City Hall:
De Blasio: I got a very strong mandate.
De Blasio: And they gave a very clear mandate.
De Blasio won 66.5 percent of the vote. His Republican challenger, State Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis, pulled in a little less than 28 percent.
"New Yorkers have seen a number of changes in the last four years," de Blasio said. "They have seen that real change can happen and can happen quickly. They want more, and I intend to give them more."
Only 24 percent of registered voters actually participated in the election. It's a smaller slice of the electorate than we saw four years ago. But the actual number of people who voted increased slightly, and that's what the mayor wanted to focus on.
"A vote is a vote. More voters voted than the last time — that's a good thing," de Blasio said.
The mayor also faced a number of questions about his national political ambitions and whether he'll try to raise money to boost them.
"We don't have any plan at this point," de Blasio said. "Our focus right now is on preparing for this second administration."
A report in the New York Times said de Blasio is thinking of starting a federal political action committee.
De Blasio started his day with an eye on local politics, greeting New Yorkers in Downtown Brooklyn and thanking them for their support.