NEW YORK - Mayor Bill de Blasio cruised to re-election on Tuesday, fending off token opposition to win a second term as the leader of the nation's largest city.
De Blasio, a Democrat, easily defeated Republican state lawmaker Nicole Malliotakis and several third-party candidates. The Associated Press called the election for de Blasio shortly after polls closed in the city, which leans heavily Democratic.
Mayor Bill de Blasio gives re-election acceptance speech
On the campaign trail, de Blasio touted his rollout of universal pre-kindergarten for 4-year-olds and efforts to increase affordable housing. He also cited low crime rates and his work to address his city's notoriously high cost of living.
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First elected four years ago, de Blasio emerged as a national leader in progressive politics. But his administration often found itself bogged down in feuds with Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a fellow Democrat, and investigations into campaign donations and pay-to-play politics.
De Blasio's toughest challenger on Tuesday, Malliotakis, called the mayor ineffective. Third-party candidates in the race included independent Bo Dietl, a former detective.
The 56-year-old mayor has vowed that in his second term he will further expand pre-kindergarten to 3-year-olds and increase investments in affordable housing. He also has promised to continue to speak out for the city's immigrant and minority communities and be a vocal critic of President Donald Trump.
The city leans heavily to the left, with Democrats outnumbering Republicans by a 6-1 ratio.
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