Bill de Blasio reelected NYC mayor

Bill de Blasio reelected NYC mayor
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New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has been reelected to a second term in office, The Associated Press reported not long after polls closed.

Polls ahead of voting on Tuesday projected a sweeping victory for de Blasio, a progressive Democrat who was first elected in 2013. His Republican opponent, New York state Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis had long lagged behind de Blasio in the polls.

In his second term in office, de Blasio will be expected to push forward with a plan to offer free preschool to all 3-year-olds, as well as forge ahead with an effort to preserve or create affordable housing across the city.

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He will also continue to oversee an effort to close Rikers Island, the infamous New York City jail complex that has long been the subject of outrage and controversy for its poor conditions and mistreatment of inmates.

De Blasio vowed earlier this year to shutter the complex — a process he said could take about 10 years. He will have left office by the time it's completely closed down, because New York City mayors are only permitted to serve two terms in office.

On the campaign trail, de Blasio won the endorsements of prominent national political figures, including Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerThis week: GOP mulls vote on ‘abolish ICE’ legislation Red-state Dem tells Schumer to 'kiss my you know what' on Supreme Court vote Dem infighting erupts over Supreme Court pick MORE (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersMellman: (Mis)interpreting elections Dems to propose legislation to prevent ICE from shackling pregnant women Rasmussen poll: Nearly three-quarters of Dems want 'fresh face' as nominee in 2020 MORE (I-Vt.), a progressive firebrand who has applauded de Blasio’s proposal to raise taxes on wealthy New Yorkers to pay for subway improvements and repairs.

But while de Blasio consistently held a commanding lead in the polls, he faced criticism on the campaign trail after Jona Rechnitz, a wealthy real estate developer, testified in an unrelated case in Federal District Court in Manhattan last month that he was able to essentially buy access to City Hall with political donations.

De Blasio has waved off the allegations, calling the man a “liar.” Federal prosecutors have said they will not bring charges against the mayor.