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Sunday September 24th, 2017 3:36PM

De Blasio wins Democratic primary for New York City mayor

By The Associated Press
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NEW YORK (AP) — Mayor Bill de Blasio on Tuesday handily defeated a crowded field of challengers to win the Democratic mayoral primary as he continued his quest for a second term as the leader of the country's largest city.

With more than 90 percent of precincts reporting, de Blasio had more than 74 percent of the vote, according to unofficial returns. He had been considered the easy favorite against Sal Albanese, Richard Bashner, Robert Gangi and Michael Tolkin, none of whom had his organizing power or financial muscle.

De Blasio goes on to face Republican state Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis, of Staten Island, and independent candidate Bo Dietl, a private detective, in November's general election.

In his acceptance speech, de Blasio renewed a promise, made before his first term, to make New York more hospitable to people feeling squeezed out in a city with a huge gap between rich and poor.

"I'm not going to stop until we build that fairer city for every New Yorker," he said.

Albanese, his closest rival, noted the campaign isn't finished because he'll be on the ballot in the general election as a Reform Party candidate.

"When you are up against a mountain of special interest money, it is tough to compete," he said.

New York held primaries statewide Tuesday for other local offices.

Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez, who stepped into the role when his predecessor took ill and later died, won the Democratic primary election for that job. He had more than half the votes with almost 90 percent of precincts reporting, according to unofficial results. He defeated five other candidates.

Gonzalez took over as acting district attorney when Kenneth Thompson announced toward the end of last year that he was ill and would be undergoing treatment for cancer. Thompson died shortly after, and no replacement was named, leaving Gonzalez in place.

One City Council race in Queens attracted attention because of the candidacy of Hiram Monserrate, a former councilman and state lawmaker who was expelled from the state Senate after he was convicted of assaulting his girlfriend. Monserrate, who later served nearly two years in prison after pleading guilty to fraud and corruption charges in a separate case, lost to state Assemblyman Francisco Moya in the Democratic primary.

Several other notable primary races were also decided across the state.

Democrats in Syracuse picked Juanita Perez Williams, a former assistant state attorney general and former associate dean of students at Syracuse University, as their nominee in a race to succeed incumbent Democratic Mayor Stephanie Miner, who is term-limited. Perez Williams defeated City Auditor Marty Masterpole and city Councilman Joseph Nicoletti.

Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan defeated challenges from two fellow Democrats, City Common Councilman Frank Commisso Jr. and Council President Carolyn McLaughlin.

Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren defeated former journalist Rachel Barnhart and Monroe County legislator James Sheppard in their Democratic primary.

In Buffalo, Mayor Byron Brown won a Democratic contest with City Comptroller Mark Schroeder and county lawmaker Betty Jean Grant.

The winners move on to the November general election.

And on Long Island, Nassau County Democrats were deciding the county executive primary matchup between Laura Curran and George Maragos. Republican Jack Martins, a former state senator, will be on the November ballot. Incumbent Ed Mangano, a Republican under federal indictment in a case in which he's alleged to have taken bribes, is not seeking another term. Mangano has pleaded not guilty.

Most party primaries in New York state are closed contests, meaning a voter must be a registered member of the party in order to cast a ballot.

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