NEW YORK — A mayor’s race that began four years ago will finally come to an end Tuesday. As other candidates were felled by scandal and campaign missteps, an unlikely front-runner has emerged: Democrat Bill de Blasio.
Languishing in fourth place until nearly Labor Day, de Blasio surged to the top with a clearly defined message about income inequality and police misconduct, with an assist from an already-iconic campaign ad featuring an Afro.
De Blasio, the city’s public advocate and an unabashed liberal, is now poised to become the first Democrat to win since 1989, entering Election Day with a 40-point lead over Republican Joe Lhota, a one-time deputy mayor to Rudolph Giuliani.
De Blasio said he will usher in a new era of progressive governing by raising taxes on the rich, improving police and community relations, and reaching out to those who feel slighted by what they believe were 12 years of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Manhattan-centric policies.
More than any of his rivals for the Democratic nomination, de Blasio positioned himself as the cleanest break from Bloomberg.
De Blasio, a Brooklyn Democrat, worked in President Bill Clinton’s administration and ran Hillary Rodham Clinton’s Senate campaign before being elected to the City Council and then public advocate.