New Yorkers have chosen a business tycoon Michael Bloomberg, who had never run for public office, over a veteran of New York City politics, as their next mayor.
A public opinion survey found that, in the wake of the September 11th attack on New York's World Trade Center, the city's economy and jobs were uppermost on the minds of voters.
Mr. Green, the city's public advocate, has run in 11 New York elections, over the last two decades. He is a well-known politician and said the city needed an experienced politician, not a neophyte, in its time of crisis.
Mike Bloomberg took the opposite approach, emphasizing the fact that he is not a politician. He said what the city really needed was someone who had business experience and knew how to create jobs.
Just a few weeks ago, Mr. Bloomberg was 20 percent behind in the polls. But he drew even in the race last week, after a multi-million dollar media campaign and the endorsement of Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, who is limited by law to two terms. Mayor-elect Bloomberg said he will devote all of his energy to rebuilding the United States' largest city. "The whole civilized world is proud of New York. We handled ourselves better than anybody could. We are going to be the winners out of all of this. New York is alive and well and open for business," Bloomberg said.
Mr. Bloomberg also befitted from a bitter division between Mr. Green and some of the city's leading Hispanic politicians. Exit polls showed Hispanic voters, usually strong supporters of Democrats, split their votes evenly between the two candidates.
In his concession speech, Mr. Green told supporters all New Yorkers must work with the new mayor. "I ask the city to support him as he begins the hard work and hard choices ahead. Let's face it. No American city has ever suffered a murderous attack and municipal crisis as we suffered," Green said.
Democrats outnumber Republicans in New York City, five to one. But Mr. Bloomberg is a lifelong Democrat who switched parties to run for mayor and was able to win the backing of a number of prominent Democrats. Largely because of the events of September 11th, the New York mayoral race overshadowed the two other major elections on the East Coast. In New Jersey, Democrat James McGreevey, who narrowly lost the governor's election four years ago, won this time around, beating the former mayor of Jersey City, Bret Schundler.
And, the Democrats won the governor's seat in Virginia as businessman Mark Warner beat former Republican State Attorney General, Mark Earley. In both gubernatorial elections, the Democrats will replace Republican governors.