Tuesday’s elections turned out just as the pollsters and political junkies said they would.
Following a tough primary battle, Democrat Bill de Blasio strolled into the mayoralty of New York City, taking 73.4 percent of the general election vote compared to 24.3 percent for Republican rival Joe Lhota, according to preliminary Board of Elections figures.
In his acceptance speech, de Blasio reiterated his campaign theme that there are two New Yorks — one for the haves and one for the have-nots — and pledged to set in place liberal policies to address the economic divide, such as increasing taxes on the wealthy to pay for early-childhood education and forcing developers to build more affordable housing.
“Tackling inequality isn’t easy; it never has been, and never will be,” de Blasio said. “The challenges we face have been decades in the making, and the problems we set out to address will not be solved overnight. But make no mistake: The people of this city have chosen a progressive path, and tonight we set forth on it, together, as one city.”
Fellow Democrat Scott Stringer won the office of comptroller by an even bigger margin, beating Republican John Burnett 80.6 percent to 16.6 percent.
Letitia James rounded out the Democrats’ dominance in citywide offices, being elected public advocate with 83.6 percent of the vote. James had no Republican rival.
In Queens, Democrat Melinda Katz beat Republican Tony Arcabascio in the race for borough president by nearly as much, winning 80.3 percent of the vote compared to her opponent’s 17.1 percent.
In her victory statement, Katz said she would work with de Blasio “to take on the inequality crisis in our city” from her new post in Queens Borough Hall.
“I’m humbled and honored by the trust placed in me tonight by the people of Queens,” she said. “For months, this campaign has been about confronting the challenges facing working families in our borough — whether by stimulating responsible economic development in Flushing, creating truly affordable housing in Jackson Heights, or protecting the Rockaways from future storms.”
Katz celebrated with supporters at Queens Democratic Party headquarters in Forest Hills before heading over to de Blasio’s victory bash in Brooklyn.
It was the Democrats’ night across the city.
The only Republican to win a race in Queens was Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park), who defeated challenger Lew Simon 53.1 percent to 46.9 percent in the 32nd District, though Simon has yet to concede.
The open 19th Council District seat in northern Queens went to Democrat Paul Vallone, who beat Republican Dennis Saffran 57.2 percent to 42.8 percent.
The open 22nd District seat in northwestern Queens was won by Costa Constantinides, who took 65.6 percent of the vote, compared to 15 percent for Green Party candidate Lynne Serpe and 11.2 percent for Republican Daniel Peterson.
Incumbent 23rd District Councilman Mark Weprin (D-Oakland Gardens) bested Reform Party challenger Joe Concannon with 84.1 percent to his opponent’s 15.9 percent.
In the 24th District in central Queens, another open seat, Democrat Rory Lancman beat Republican Alexander Blishteyn 73.7 percent to 20 percent.
Southeastern Queens District 27 was won by Daneek Miller, with 96.9 percent of the vote compared to 3.1 percent for the Independence Party’s Sondra Preeden.
In neighboring District 28, Councilman Ruben Wills (D-Jamaica) won with 95.4 percent to independent challenger Mireille Leroy’s 4.6 percent.
Central Queens District 29 Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz (D-Forest Hills) beat independent candidate Jon Torodash 91.4 percent to 8.6 percent.
In a closer but still decisive victory, Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley (D-Middle Village) won re-election in the 30th District by taking down GOP challenger Craig Caruana 58.9 percent to 41.1 percent.
Thirty-first District Councilman Donovan Richards (D-Laurelton) cruised back into office with 92.2 percent of the vote compared to 5.1 percent for Republican Scherie Murray.
In District 34, which is mostly in Brooklyn but includes much of Ridgewood, Democrat Antonio Reynoso swept into office with 96 percent of the vote to independent Gladys Santiago’s 4 percent.
There were also six statewide referenda on the ballot.
Voters approved an expansion of casino gambling upstate 57.1 percent to 42.9 percent, according to the state Board of Elections.
They denied a bid to let state Supreme Court justices and Court of Appeals judges to serve until they are 80 years old, an extension of several years, 60.4 percent to 39.6 percent.
They OK’d giving more civil service credit to disabled veterans 83.7 percent to 16.3 percent and allowed municipalities to take on more debt for sewage facilities 62.2 percent to 37.8 percent.
And they approved two land preservation expansions in Adirondack Park, one involving a title dispute by a 72.6 percent to 27.4 percent margin and the other by 53 percent to 47 percent.