In the end, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio will be the Democratic nominee for mayor after Bill Thompon this week opted to bow out of the race, avoiding a costly runoff election. Not that we think Thompson would have had much chance if it came to that, anyway.
To win outright, de Blasio needed at least 40 percent of the vote in a crowded race that featured five viable candidates. De Blasio got just over 40 percent – barely, he didn't even get 41 percent – and Thompson, who got about 26 percent of the vote, was clinging to the chance a recount and the additional paper and absentee ballots would swing the percentages slightly in his favor, and cause de Blasio to dip below that 40 percent threshold.
But even if that had happened, de Blasio still would have had a commanding lead and it would have been unlikely he would have lost in a runoff given the support he garnered from such a wide demographic of voters, although crazier things have happened. (Just ask Mark Green, who came in second in the primary, only to defeat Fernando Ferrer in a runoff in 2001.)
But there will be a runoff for the Public Advocate seat, as neither Councilwoman Letitia James or State Senator Daniel Squadron is poised to drop out. The two were neck and neck in the primary, with James falling just below the 40 percent mark and Squadron not far behind.
The person who came in third in the race, Cathy Guerriero, endorsed Squadron for the job on Tuesday morning, so he's got that going for him.
An interesting side note about the runoff is that it will cost the city about $13 million to figure out who Democratic voters want representing them in the general election for a post that most people don't even know exists, let alone what it does.
To put that in perspective, the annual budget of the public advocate's office is about $2 million, so we are going to spend about six times the amount to figure out who might (remember, there is still a general election) be our next public advocate than said public advocate will spend during their first year in office.
Another race, albeit on a much smaller scale, that is still technically up in the air is the race to replace Dan Halloran, who chose not to seek another City Council term given the bribery scandal surrounding him.
At last tally, Paul Vallone was leading Austin Shafran by just 136 votes, but there were still 1,000 paper ballots still to be counted.
Vallone, whose brother is Councilman Peter Vallone, Jr. and whose father is former City Council Speaker Peter Vallone, Sr., claimed victory on election night, but Shafran has yet to give Vallone the obligatory concessionary phone call, so this race is still up in the air.
“Whether you pulled a lever on Election Day or filled out a paper ballot, we are fighting to make sure your vote is counted,” read a statement from the Shafran campaign.