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Queens Chronicle

Billy clubs ’em — may avert runoff

De Blasio tops in Dem mayoral race but Thompson won’t yield; Katz wins BP bid

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Posted: Thursday, September 12, 2013 10:30 am | Updated: 10:17 am, Thu Sep 19, 2013.

Public Advocate Bill de Blasio took a commanding lead in Tuesday’s Democratic primary for mayor, and may have won enough votes to avoid having a runoff election.

De Blasio scored 40.1 percent of the votes, according to preliminary Board of Elections figures. His closest rival was former Comptroller Bill Thompson, who won 26.2 percent. But not all votes have been counted yet.

If the final tally has de Blasio at 40 percent or more, he’ll be the Democratic nominee to face Republican Joe Lhota, a former deputy mayor and MTA chairman, who won the GOP primary with 52.6 percent of the vote.

If de Blasio does not reach 40 percent, he will face Thompson in a runoff on Oct. 1, as required by law for citywide races. Thompson declined to concede the election until all votes, such as absentee ballots and those cast by citizens who were unable to vote by machine yesterday, are counted.

In the Democratic race for comptroller, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer beat former Gov. Eliot Spitzer 52 percent to 48 percent, and will face Republican John Burnett in November.

The Democratic contest for public advocate will go to a runoff between City Councilwoman Letitia James (D-Brooklyn), who won 36 percent of the vote, and state Sen. Dan Squadron (D-Brooklyn, Manhattan), who took 33 percent. No Republican is running for the seat.

Melinda Katz, a former councilwoman and state assemblywoman from Forest Hills, beat Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. (D-Astoria) 44.5 percent to 33.7 percent to win the Democratic nod for Queens borough president. Katz will face Astoria Republican Tony Arcabascio, a technology executive, in November.

In the 19th City Council District in northern Queens, Paul Vallone, an attorney and brother of Peter Vallone Jr., narrowly won the Democratic nomination, with 31.1 percent of the vote compared to 29.5 percent for his closest rival in the five-way race, state official Austin Shafran. Vallone’s Republican opponent in November will be Dennis Saffran, also an attorney.

In the 22nd District in northwestern Queens, Democratic District Leader Costa Constantinides won his party’s nomination handily, with 56 percent of the vote. Former Assemblyman Rory Lancman was even more commanding in the 24th District, in Central Queens, winning the Democratic nod with 61.7 percent.

In Southeastern Queens, Councilman Ruben Wills (D-Jamaica) defeated three challengers in the 28th District with 48.6 percent of the vote, Councilman Donovan Richards (D-Laurelton) beat back two opponents in the 31st with 51.6 percent, and transit union official Daneek Miller narrowly won a six-way race for the Democratic nod in the 27th with 24.4 percent.

Democratic District Leader Lew Simon won the 32nd District nomination in South Queens and Rockaway with 65.1 percent of the vote, and will face Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park).

In the 34th District, which is mostly in Brooklyn but includes much of Ridgewood, Antonio Reynoso, chief of staff to outgoing Councilwoman Diana Reyna (D-Brooklyn, Queens), won the Democratic nod with 49.2 percent of the vote, beating three opponents including former Assemblyman Vito Lopez, who took 37.4 percent.

The defeat of Lopez, along with those of Spitzer and ex-Rep. Anthony Weiner, who had run for mayor, means that none of the three candidates who had resigned their last position over a sex scandal will regain elective office.

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