No surprises, as Bloomberg and Mendez both win easily
By Lincoln Anderson
There were no dramatic recounts, no disputed votes, no anxious analyses of whether vote totals didnt jibe with early exit polls.
Not this time. No way.
Mayor Mike Bloomberg proved that, for once, polls in fact can be accurate, as he trounced Fernando Ferrer in the mayoral race. With 96 percent of the vote tallied, Christopher Riley, a Board of Elections spokesperson, said that the Republican mayor had 58 percent of the vote to Democrat Ferrers 39 percent. Ferrer conceded around 10:45 p.m.
Riley would not comment on whether voter turnout had been light or heavy, saying the board did not have its turnout numbers yet. Were not even giving out guestimates, he said. However, turnout appeared to be pretty light.
In other races, Scott Stringer won the Manhattan borough president race handily, taking 76 percent of the vote.
Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum won re-election in what Riley accurately described as a landslide, with 89 percent of votes cast. Among other advocate candidates, subway gunman Bernard Goetz got 2.3 percent of the vote and Jay Lescynski, who vowed, if elected, to eliminate the do-nothing office to save taxpayers millions of dollars, got 2.2 percent.
In City Council races, Rosie Mendez won in a romp in District 2, covering the area from the Lower East Side to Murray Hill, with 78 percent of the vote. John Carlino, a Republican, got 19 percent and Claudia Flanagan, running on the Libertarian line, got 3 percent. In terms of numbers, Mendez took 19,483 votes to Carlinos 4,740 and Flanagans 643.
Running unopposed, Councilmembers Alan Gerson and Christine Quinn were both re-elected. Gerson garnered 15,398 votes and Quinn 23,633 votes.
In two closely watched East Side Council races, Democrats won, with Dan Garodnick taking 64 percent of the vote in District 4, Eva Moskowitzs current district; and Jessica Lappin winning in District 5, Gifford Millers current district, with 65 percent of the vote. Moskowitz ran for borough president instead of running for re-election and Miller is being term-limited.
Mendez celebrated her victory at Nice Guy Eddies, a bar on Avenue A and E. Houston St. owned by David McWater, chairperson of Community Board 3. The Villager reached her there by cell phone shortly after 11 p.m. and she reflected on her win, interrupting herself frequently to shout excitedly to supporters and friends Love you! Thank you! as they came up to congratulate her.
Im just very happy, Mendez said. Im very grateful to all my neighbors who helped out on my campaign. We have got a lot of work to do in our community. Were going to work shoulder to shoulder.
Mendez said McWater had been at the party, and she noted that their friendship goes back to when they attended New York University together.
We graduated together, she said. We had the same professors. We were poli-sci majors.
Among her first moves, Mendez plans to relocate the Council office to new quarters, noting that as a former chief of staff to Margarita Lopez, she felt the office had been a bit tight.
As for Lopez, who broke party ranks to endorse the mayor, she was seen standing off to the side of the stage at Bloombergs victory party at the Sheraton. Noting that Lopez had a good working relationship with the mayor, Mendez said she hopes to continue it. And she said shell look to Lopez for advice, wherever Lopez may end up in the Bloomberg administration, in Albany or doing something, perhaps, in the social services field.
Mendez, who was just in Puerto Rico for her aunts funeral, plans to go back there shortly for a conference, but after that will continue to meet with local community groups to familiarize herself more with local issues before assuming office.
Offering his take on the mayors race, veteran Village political observer Ed Gold, who helped Ed Koch get his start in politics when Gold was president of Village Independent Democrats, marveled at the fact that Jews have had such success recently in mayoral elections three of the last five mayors, Abe Beame, Koch and Bloomberg, have been Jewish, interspersed with an African-American, David Dinkins, and an Italian, Rudy Giuliani.
It used to be all Irish and Italian mayors before that, Gold said. Its demographics. Theres been a change in ethnic development in the selection of mayors. The change began with the selection of Lindsay.
Koch, a Bloomberg backer, stood behind Governor Pataki at Tuesday nights Bloomberg celebration. Giuliani was also on the stage near Bloomberg.