Bill de Blasio is in many ways the opposite of New York's billionaire mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has done a lot of good for New York, but has been aloof when it comes to social issues and the rising inequality.
Mr. de Blasio, a white Brooklynite who frequently showcased his biracial family, built a broad coalition of support among nearly every category of Democratic primary voters on Tuesday, according to the exit poll by Edison Research. His critique of a city divided between rich and poor — tried in the past by other candidates in New York and nationally with little success — resonated.
“I love his message about the tale of two cities, the big inequality gap,” said Jelani Wheeler, 19, a politics student at St. John’s University in Queens.
“We can start correcting many important issues the city is facing, issues often ignored by the Bloomberg administration,” he added. (De Blasio First in Mayoral Primary; Unclear if He Avoids a Runoff)
They are startled and unsure how to react. “Terrifying,” is how one banker put it.
Many in New York’s business and financial elite, stung by the abrupt ascent of Bill de Blasio, an unapologetic tax-the-rich liberal, are fixated on a single question: What are we going to do?
The angst, emanating from charity galas and Park Avenue dinner tables, has created an unexpected political opening for Joseph J. Lhota, the Republican nominee, whose once-sleepy candidacy is now viewed by players in both parties as their last, best hope for salvaging the business-friendly government of the Bloomberg era.
Even before his victory speech on Tuesday night, Mr. Lhota was moving quickly to exploit his newfound role. He planned to speak on primary night with Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, whose blessing could confer credibility with the Manhattan establishment. (Lhota Hopes to Capitalize on Elite Dismay Over a Liberal Tilt)