NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Incumbent Bill de Blasio won renomination in the Democratic primary for mayor of New York City Tuesday night.
“I have always loved this city, and I’ve gone around these last four years and gotten to know this city I love more deeply. My love has grown for it. My love for the people of this city has grown. My respect for the people of this city has grown. My optimism about the future of the city has grown, because I’ve seen what’s possible,” de Blasio said in his victory speech.
But de Blasio said he does not intend to rest on his laurels.
“No matter how much I love this place, no matter how much good I’ve seen, I do not accept the status quo in this town,” de Blasio said. “We’ve got more to do, my friends. We’ve got more to do.”
He celebrated his achievements or pre-K for free, a reduction in stop-and-frisks by police, a rent freeze for rent-stabilized leases, and the allowance for lawyers for tenants faced with eviction.
“This is your city,” he said as the crowd joined him in unison.
Regarding the phrase, he said, “It reminds people that all those years they felt their city slipping away, we’re never going to let that happen.”
De Blasio was one of five Democrats running in Tuesday’s primary. He was up against former City Councilman Sal Albanese — who appeared with him in two debates — as well as Richard Bashner, Robert Gangi and Michael Tolkin.
Albanese earlier conceded the race.
With 99 percent of the precincts reporting, de Blasio had 75 percent percent, compared with 15 percent for Albanese, 5 percent for Tolkin, 3 percent for Gangi, and 2 percent for Bashner.
The mayor will now face Republican Nicole Malliotakis in the general election. Former NYPD police officer and security expert Bo Dietl is also running as an Independent.
Not everyone who crossed de Blasio’s path was sympathetic earlier Tuesday. A chorus of protesters greeted de Blasio and First Lady Chirlane McCray as they arrived to cast their ballots at a library in Park Slope Tuesday morning.
“Mayor de Blasio is the mayor that made the promise and committed to close Rikers Island,” protester Alfredo Carrasquillo told CBS2’s Janelle Burrell. “We’re out here just making sure we hold him to his word.”
But there were voters who came out to support the mayor.
“I think he cares about all of us not any one borough or any one socioeconomic slice and I think that’s important,” one Brooklyn voter said.
The mayor, seemingly unfazed, emerged from the library after voting. De Blasio said he has a lot of goals for another four years in office and hopes that despite projections of a low turnout that New Yorkers come out in large numbers to support him.
“I think that the election last year is going to start to change behavior in favor of turnout and participation,” de Blasio told reporters. “I think there’s a lot of interest especially after 2016 in being involved and getting the message out.”
The mayor pointed voters to his record and his signature initiative, universal pre-K.
“The things we have done the last four years in an effort to bring more fairness and equality to New York City, stop-and-frisk down 93-percent, crime down as well,” he said.
Albanese, a lawyer and former teacher as well as a former city councilman, cast his ballot on Staten Island. He said he’s confident despite being overwhelmingly outspent and out-marketed by de Blasio’s team in advertising in the lead up to Tuesday.
“I’m not that concerned about it because people already know what Bill de Blasio has done as mayor, so none of the advertising is going to change that,” he said.
Some in de Blasio’s home base of Park Slope openly supported him.
“He’s learning to be mayor of the City of New York,” said Park Slope resident Evan Bauer. “Not all the initiatives have succeeded but I think he’s doing the right thing.”
But other registered Democrats, like Matt Coogan, thought the mayor was a shoe-in and wishes there were more options on the ballot.
“He’s gonna win,” Coogan said.
On the Republican side, state Assemblywoman Malliotakis, of Staten Island, ran unopposed in the primary. Among her attacks on the mayor was bashing his refusal to support public disclosure of donors who seek favors from City Hall.
“It sends a sign that New York City is for sale,” she said.
New York City also held primaries Tuesday for other local offices.
One City Council race in Queens’ 21st District attracted attention because of the candidacy of Hiram Monserrate, a former councilman and state lawmaker who was expelled from the state Senate after he was convicted of assaulting his girlfriend.
Monserrate later served nearly two years in prison after pleading guilty to fraud and corruption charges in a separate case. He faced state Assemblyman Francisco Moya in the Democratic primary.
Moya won the race with 55 percent to 44 percent for Monserrate, according to the Board of Elections.
In Manhattan, Democrat Dan Garodnick is leaving his 4th District seat due to term limits. Nine challengers were vying for nomination for the seat.
With 78.57 percent of precincts reporting, Keith Powers won in the 4th with 41.14 percent of the vote. Next closest contender Marti Speranza had 23.17 percent.
Public Advocate Letitia James fended off a challenge by fellow Democrat David Eisenbach. She won renomination 76.27 percent to 23.39 percent for Eisenbach.
As WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb reported, a good government group was worried about things that might have made it hard to vote on Primary Day.
Pointing to consistently low voter turnout in New York, Citizens Union Executive Director Dick Dadey declared, “We are really a passive voter suppression state.”
Dadey said the people are turned off by a lack of competition and noted that New York makes voting cumbersome.
“We don’t have something called early voting, allow voting by mail, which a number of states allow,” he said. “We don’t have automatic voter registration, which a number of states have.”
Most party primaries in New York state are closed contests, meaning a voter must be a registered member of the party in order to cast a ballot.
Polls opened at 6 a.m. in New York City, Long Island and Rockland, Orange, Putnam, Erie and Westchester counties. Polls closed statewide at 9 p.m.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)