By trumpeting economic and civil rights issues, New York Public Advocate Bill de Blasio got himself elected Tuesday night to the highest office in the biggest city in America.

The New York Times reports that de Blasio’s win “cut across all of New York’s traditional divides. He won support from voters regardless of race, gender, age, education, religion or income, according to the exit poll.”

The triumphant candidate, who easily defeated his Republican rival, will be the first Democrat to run the city in nearly 20 years. He ran against the heavy-handed police tactics and pro-business policies put in place by his predecessors, Rudolph Giuliani and billionaire Michael Bloomberg. In a bizarre twist, sitting Mayor Bloomberg accused de Blasio of running a “racist” campaign by celebrating his mixed race family.

New York has changed a lot in the last few decades. Although many neighborhoods are safer and cleaner than they were in the past, the island of Manhattan and much of Brooklyn have become more or less a playground for rich people. To put it in the words of Jimmy McMillan, “the rent is too damn high.” In addition to economic issues, de Blasio ran hard against Bloomberg’s “stop and frisk” policy of racial profiling. New Yorkers of color who felt targeted by police, and many more besides, came out to reward de Blasio with a big win. And now we get to see how an unabashed progressive runs America’s biggest city.

— Posted by Peter Z. Scheer

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