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De Blasio wins Democratic primary for New York City mayor

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New York, Sep 13 (AP) - Mayor Bill de Blasio on Tuesday handily defeated a crowded field of challengers to win the Democratic mayoral primary as he continued his quest for a second term as the leader of the country's largest city.
With more than 90 percent of precincts reporting, de Blasio had more than 74 percent of the vote, according to unofficial returns. He had been widely considered the favorite against Sal Albanese, Richard Bashner, Robert Gangi and Michael Tolkin, none of whom had his organizing power or financial muscle. He now goes on to face Republican state Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis, of Staten Island, and independent candidate Bo Dietl, a private detective, in November's general election.
Albanese, his closest rival, noted the campaign isn't finished because he'll be on the ballot in the general election as a Reform Party candidate.
"When you are up against a mountain of special interest money, it is tough to compete," he said.
New York City also was holding primaries Tuesday for other local offices.
Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez, who stepped into the role when his predecessor took ill and later died, won the Democratic primary election for that job. He had more than half the votes with almost 90 percent of precincts reporting, according to unofficial results. He defeated five other candidates.
Gonzalez took over as acting district attorney when Kenneth Thompson announced toward the end of last year that he was ill and would be undergoing treatment for cancer. Thompson died shortly after, and no replacement was named, leaving Gonzalez in place.
One City Council race in Queens attracted attention because of the candidacy of Hiram Monserrate, a former councilman and state lawmaker who was expelled from the state Senate after he was convicted of assaulting his girlfriend. Monserrate, who later served nearly two years in prison after pleading guilty to fraud and corruption charges in a separate case, lost to state Assemblyman Francisco Moya in the Democratic primary on Tuesday.
Several other notable primary races were also being decided across the state.
Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan faced challenges from City Common Councilman Frank Commisso Jr. and Council President Carolyn McLaughlin, fellow Democrats.
In Syracuse, three Democrats were running to succeed Democrat Stephanie Miner, who is term-limited. They are City Auditor Marty Masterpole, city Councilman Joseph Nicoletti and Juanita Perez Williams, a former assistant state attorney general and former associate dean of students at Syracuse University.
To the west, Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren faced former journalist Rachel Barnhart and county lawmaker and former police chief James Sheppard in the Democratic primary.
In Buffalo, Mayor Byron Brown was considered the likely winner in a Democratic contest with City Comptroller Mark Schroeder and county lawmaker Betty Jean Grant.
The winners move on to the November general election.
And on Long Island, Nassau County Democrats were deciding the county executive primary matchup between Laura Curran and George Maragos. Republican Jack Martins, a former state senator, will be on the November ballot. Incumbent Ed Mangano, a Republican under federal indictment in a case in which he's alleged to have taken bribes, is not seeking another term. Mangano has pleaded not guilty.
Most party primaries in New York state are closed contests, meaning a voter must be a registered member of the party in order to cast a ballot.