Mike Bloomberg squeaked into his third term with a much narrower victory over Bill Thompson than many expected.
Bloomberg took a lot of criticism for his $90-plus million campaign, but “if he didn’t spend that kind of money he would have never won the election,” said political consultant Joe Mercurio. “This is a repudiation of Bloomberg,” he continued, adding that he was “startled” by the close margin after multiple polls gave Bloomberg a double-digit lead. The mayor was hurt by the bad economy, high unemployment and the lack of affordable housing, he said.
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Bloomberg, backed by an unpopular City Council vote, angered many voters when he overturned term-limits to run again.
“Better the devil you know,” said Lower East Side writer Ed Douglas when asked why he voted for Bloomberg. “Right after 9/11, the city could have gone down the toilet. He’s done a good job.”
Over two terms, Bloomberg brought schools under mayoral control, improved public health and lowered crime. His challenge now is to weather the financial storm and keep the city safe and affordable.
He joins Fiorello LaGuardia, Robert Wagner and Ed Koch as a three-term mayor.