Last night, the Democratic candidates for Public Advocate and City Comptroller were decided in runoff elections: City Councilman Bill de Blasio won the Public Advocate race, with 63% of the vote while Councilman John Liu won the Comptroller matchup with 56% of the vote. While they will face Republican challengers in the November election (Alex Zablocki for PA, Joseph Mendola for Comptroller), de Blasio and Liu are expected to win, given NYC's overwhelming majority of Democratic voters.
De Blasio told his supporters, "There is so much we have to improve and change about our city. Whenever your government is not there for you, I will stand up for you. He defeated former Public Advocate Mark Green, who got 37% of the vote. Green said, who had been a frontrunner based on his name recognition, said, "or now, I’ll go back to writing, commenting, perhaps teaching and Air America Radio to keep the progressive voice strong around the city and country. You’ll be hearing from me, but not in elected office."
In his victory speech, Liu said, "No one appreciates the wonder and possibility of New York better than me," and referring to the late, nasty turn the campaign took, added, "We won this election in the streets." Councilman David Yassky, who had 44% of the vote in the Comptroller race, congratulated his opponent and said, "I hope that none of you here will take this defeat as a reason to stop believing in the possibility of politics, and the possibility of good politics."
Both candidates were backed by the Working Families Party, which flexed its considerable muscle, but political consultant George Arzt—who worked on both campaigns—told the Daily News, "It was about grass-roots campaigns. We had better grass-roots campaigns than both of our rivals. We had a tremendous effort in the African-American and Asian-American communities." But political consultant Hank Sheinkopf told the Post, "More than anything else, this is the new generation, the complete shift. The Democratic Party can't elect the mayor and now can't elect a comptroller or public advocate. It was the power of the paid operation of the WFP."