Michael Bloomberg, HBS ’66, was elected Mayor of New York City Tuesday, overcoming tremendous odds to become the first Republican ever to succeed another Republican as mayor of the nation’s largest city.
Bloomberg will have his work cut out for him as he takes the helm of a city that was rocked by the terrorist attacks that leveled the World Trade Center on Sept. 11.
In recent weeks, Bloomberg’s massive campaign advertising blitz — funded with an estimated $50 million of his own money — focused on his background as a businessman. He contended that his experience building the billion-dollar financial information empire that bears his name would serve him well as a Mayor charged with rebuilding the city’s economy.
Bloomberg’s fortunes also got a tremendous boost after he was endorsed by outgoing NYC Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, whose popularity surged in the city in response to his strong leadership following the attacks.
With 100% of the machine votes counted, the city’s Board of Elections reported that Bloomberg drew 719,819 votes to city Public Advocat Mark Green’s 676,560. Absentee ballots and write-in votes remained to be counted, but are not expected to sway the results.
Green, who served in the elected Public Advocate post for the last eight years, was hampered by hard feelings that bled over from the Democratic primary, when he narrowly defeated Bronx Borough President Fernando Ferrer in a runoff election. Ferrer had been seeking to become the city’s first Latino mayor, and while he endorsed Green, he did not actively campaign for him in the closing days of the election.
Bloomberg becomes the second HBS graduate in as many years to be elected to a high-profile public office, following the election of President George W. Bush, HBS 1975, last November.