Lhota takes defeat easier than his supporters

Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” blared from the sound speakers for Joe Lhota’s introduction Tuesday at his election night party at Gansevoort Park Avenue Hotel, except the song was cut off about midway through. Not even Journey could help the Republican Mayoral candidate in what he said was a tough campaign from the beginning.

“It might be anti-Bloomberg, I don’t know,” Lhota supporter Jason Lerman said. “It’s tough for one party to win six terms in a row.”

Tania Gartenberg attended the event wearing a black shirt emblazoned with “Team Lhota” in bright pink under her left shoulder. The Manhattan resident was not surprised by the final result – Democrat Bill de Blasio had trounced her man by 40 percentage points – but she was still upset, a little bitter.

“He’s going to be a one-term mayor,” Gartenberg said of de Blasio. “I remember what the city was like 20 years ago. I remember when my friend’s dad was shot. I liked everything (Lhota) stood for.”

Crime was also on fellow Manhattan resident Lerman’s mind.

“De Blasio represents a turn back from all the progress we made,” he said. “We’re a safe city by design, by the policies put in place.”

Lhota actually had a different take on his defeat. The crowd at his concession speech booed when he brought up de Blasio and he told them to stop. Listening to his concerned supporters, Lhota brought up the fact that crime is at a historic low. He stressed solidarity with the Mayoral Elect.

“We are one city,” he said. “We all want good paying jobs. We all want a strong quality of life. We want our city to move forward.”

As Lhota and his staff ascended to a separate section of the hotel and the drinks continued to flow, even the most ardent supporters started to soften their stances.

“I feel sad,” Lerman said. “I cast my vote and we lost. I feel the city lost. I hope (de Blasio) will be OK.” 

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