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De Blasio leads NY mayoral primary

NEW YORK (AP) — Public Advocate Bill de Blasio held a clear lead Tuesday night in New York City's mayoral Democratic primary as polls closed, according to early and incomplete voting returns. It was unclear, though, whether he would top the 40 percent threshold needed to avoid a runoff.

De Blasio's rise in the race to succeed Mayor Michael Bloomberg was as sudden as it was unexpected.

Not even two months ago, he was an afterthought in the campaign but surged in part thanks to an ad blitz that centered on his interracial family, his headline-grabbing arrest while protesting the possible closure of a Brooklyn hospital and the defection of ex-congressman Anthony Weiner's former supporters in the wake of another sexting scandal.

With 87 percent of precincts reporting, de Blasio has about 39.6 percent of the total vote. Former city Comptroller Bill Thompson has 26 percent, and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn has 15 percent. They were followed by current city Comptroller John Liu at 7 percent and Weiner at 5 percent.

Exit polling showed the appeal of de Blasio, the city's elected public advocate, to be broad-based: He was ahead in all five boroughs; was ahead of Thompson, the only African-American candidate, with black voters and ahead of Quinn, the lone woman in the race, with female voters. He also led Quinn, who is openly gay, among gay voters.

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