Bloomberg Upsets Green;
Bloomberg Upsets Green;
Marshall, Dem Council Picks In Sweep,
Gallagher Lone Republican Winner
by john toscano
Propelled by an endorsement from Mayor Rudy Giuliani, an erosion of Hispanic support from his opponent, and an awesome final week to bombardment, Mike Bloomberg staged a furious rally in the final week to defeat Mark Green in Tuesday’s election to become the city’s 108th mayor.
The extremely bitter campaign ended abruptly around midnight. With reports showing the vote evenly split, and prospects strong for a long night of watching and waiting, Green’s camp suddenly announced that he was conceding the election with Bloomberg ahead by 30,000 votes.
For Bloomberg, a billionaire media mogul who lavished some $50 million on his first run for public office, it was a successful end to what appeared to be an impossible dream only a few weeks ago.
The victory also has the distinction of having a Republican succeeding a Republican mayor, a rarity in Democrat-heavy New York City.
It was a bitter defeat for Green, a candidate who had led in every mayoral poll since last November until the tide started to shift to Bloomberg about a week ago.
The defeat kept intact Green’s losing streak in elections for major public office, dating back about 25 years.
Meanwhile, Queens voters, casting ballots in the first term limits elections, elected Helen Marshall as the next borough president, making her the first black person ever to hold that office.
They also swept in a slew of Democrats as winners of city Council races, including Peter Vallone Jr., Melinda Katz, Hiram Monserrate and John Liu. Monserrate becomes the first Hispanic-American voted into the Council and Liu the first Asian-American.
The only Democrat upended in the Council races was Elizabeth Crowley who was defeated by Republican Dennis Gallagher, according to unofficial returns. It made Gallagher the only Republican winner of the day in Queens. That occurred in the 30th District, covering Middle Village and Glendale.
Also elected were five state Supreme Court Justices and two Civil Court judges, including Denis J. Butler, son of the former Astoria/Long Island City Assemblymember.
Green’s loss was a bitter one for the county’s Democratic organization, which had shifted its support to the Public Advocate after he defeated its original choice, Alan Hevesi, in the primary runoff.
But the Thomas Manton-led Dems more than made up for the loss with Marshall’s triumph and the victories of the organization’s candidates for City Council.
Among the winners in those races were Tony Avella, 19th District, Bayside/Whitestone; Liu, 20th District, Flushing; Hiram Monserrate, 21st District, Corona/East Elmhurst, Vallone Jr., 22nd District, Astoria/Long Island City; David Weprin, 23rd District, Queens Village/Bayside; James Gennaro, 24th District, Kew Gardens Hills/Flushing, and Helen Sears, 25th District, Jackson Heights/Corona.
Other victors were Eric Gioia, 26th District, Woodside/Sunnyside; Melinda Katz, 29th District, Forest Hills/Rego Park and Joseph Addabbo Jr., 32nd District, Howard Beach/Rockaways.
As much as Bloomberg’s deep pockets, record spending and endorsements from Giuliani’s and other endorsements figured in his surprise victory, Green shot himself in the foot with the mishandling of relations with Ferrer and his Latino-black coalition.
Although Sharpton’s actions did not dissuade blacks from voting for Green, of Hispanic who voted for Ferrer in the primary, 41 percent went for Bloomberg on Tuesday.
Green’s insulting disparagement of Ferrer’s ability to govern New York City caused Hispanics to flee to Bloomberg, and Ferrer and the Rev. Al Sharpton, his key black supporter, almost entirely sat out the ending of the campaign.
Many small Hispanic organizations and some Hispanic and black lawmakers endorsed Bloomberg, as well as did prominent white pols, Republican and Democrat, such as United States Senator John McCain and former Mayor Edward Koch.
Although Green received major labor support, it was negated by the falloff of black and Hispanic voters. There had also been indications that conservative Democrats, such as Catholics and Jews, would abandon Green at the ballot box and switch to Bloomberg after Giuliani endorsed him.
Green needed Queens support, but he might not have received it. Analysis of the vote will tell how the election actually went.
In Giuliani’s two mayoral victories, he received major help in conservative Democratic areas such as Astoria, Forest Hills, Rego Park, Kew Gardens, Bayside and Queens Village.
Fears had been expressed that the mayor, who endorsed Bloomberg on October 27, 10 days before the election, had waited too long to get the most benefit for Bloomberg. But the mayor’s appearance in television ads aired seemingly incessantly got the effect expected from the endorsement, late as it was.