UPDATE: 9:40 P.M. EST, 11/5/2013
Republican Joe Lhota has conceded the New York City mayoral race to Democrat Bill de Blasio.
With some polls showing him leading rival Joe Lhota by 45 percentage points, Bill De Blasio (pictured) is in cruise control. But what about Bill de Blasio the man? Here, NewsOne has rounded up 10 tidbits you likely didn’t know about New York’s new mayor.
1) De Blasio’s birth name was actually Warren Wilhelm Jr., but he would change it to “Bill De Blasio” in 2002, after first becoming a councilman. [Newsday]
2) De Blasio was a former aide for David Dinkins, the city’s first African-American mayor and last Democratic one. During this stint, he met Chirlane McCray, who would eventually become his wife. [Wall Street Journal]
3) Speaking of Ms. McCray, in December 2012, it was revealed that she’d previously identified as a lesbian. McCray came out in a 1979 Essence article titled, “I Am A Lesbian” before she got ”locked into a traditional marriage.” Today, McCray prefers not to label her sexuality. Speaking on her and Bill, she said, ”We’re in a committed relationship, have been for 21 years and so the only label I feel is appropriate, for me at this time, is married.” [Wall Street Journal]
4) Though he’s a transplant New Yorker, De Blasio is still a firm Red Sox fan. [New York Daily News]
5) De Blasio received a B.A. from New York University. He also has a Masters in International and Public Affairs from Columbia. [New York Daily News]
6) While a member of City Council, De Blasio helped passed a series of measures helping socioeconomically disadvantaged people. These included legislation preventing landlords from discriminating against tenants with federal housing subsidy vouchers and helping pass the HIV/AIDS Housing Services law, which improved housing services for low-income New Yorkers with HIV. De Blasio also helped pass the Benefits Translation For Immigrants Law, assisting non-English speakers with free language services while using government programs. [NYC Council RES 0803-2007, NYC Council Int 0535-2005, and NYC Council Int 0038-2002]
7) De Blasio’s father had German heritage; his mother was the daughter of Italian immigrants. [Italian American Journal]
8) His father, a U.S. veteran, committed suicide in 1979 while dealing with inoperable lung cancer. [WNYC]
9) When incumbent-Mayor Michael Bloomberg installed Cathie Black as N.Y.C. School Chancellor, De Blasio wrote a letter to City Hall, asking the mayor to organize a meeting between Black, education advocates, and parents. At the time, De Blasio noted her inexperience in the education field, saying, ”Ms. Black is a highly successful manager in the field of media, but her views on education and her plans for the nation’s largest school system are largely unknown.” [DNAinfo]
10) De Blasio initially managed Hillary Clinton’s successful 2000 Senate campaign. However, the Clintons began seeing him as weak and indecisive, eventually being replaced by Patti Solis Doyle, Clinton’s long time friend. [Mother Jones]