Video: Bloomberg, Thompson Hit Polls


bloomberg-thompson[Video below.] The brawling candidates for NYC mayor headed to the polls early today before hitting the stump once more in a bid to grab every last vote. Mayor Bloomberg pulled the lever at his upper East Side polling place before wooing voters at the W. 72nd St. subway stop, a magnet for politicians.

Democratic challenger William Thompson voted for “a guy named Thompson” at Public School 144 in Harlem before making his pitch to commuters at 135th St. and Lenox Ave.

“It’s a great day. We’ve got great weather. Nobody’s got an excuse not to come out today, and this is a chance to exercise the basic freedom of picking our own government,” said the mayor, who’s running on the Republican and Independence Party lines.

“Hopefully, a lot of people will vote. I’d be honored to have their vote. I’ve worked as hard as I can for the last eight years, and have lots of ideas [of] what we can do to continue the progress and make the city even better,” Bloomberg said.

Ahough polls say he’s trailing Bloomberg, and his campaign has been spectacularly outspent by the self-funding billionaire mayor, Thompson predicted an upset.

“I’m feeling very positive today,” said Thompson, the city controller.

“We’re looking forward to campaigning across the city for the day and then looking forward to victory tonight when the polls close.”

After voting, Thompson headed to Junior’s Restaurant in Brooklyn for a quick breakfast of whole wheat toast and eggs, then did a whirlwind tour of three senior centers in Crown Heights and Fort Greene – even on knocking on a few residents’ doors at one retirement home.

“I like him,” said retiree Irving Hart, 67.

“He’s gone up against such great odds, and he didn’t allow that to interfere with the job he has to do – doing what’s right for the people.”

In Manhattan, Barbara Singleton, a city budget and contract worker, greeted Thompson like a love-struck fan, asking to pose for photos with him and fellow Democratic pols like City Council members Robert Jackson and Inez Dickens and state Sen. Bill Perkins (D-Manhattan).

“I’m so excited to see our new mayor embracing New York early in the morning with the people, and I am so happy that he’s a people person. We see him all the time and he’s one of us,” Singleton enthused.

“What I mean by that is he’s not a millionaire or a billionaire, but he’s a person that is willing to enjoy the city and embrace it with confidence, and I like that.”

On the upper West Side, registered Democrat Jann Jaffe, 56, crossed party lines to vote for Bloomberg – but not without some misgivings. “I had a little trouble, because I wasn’t happy with about [what] he did to be able to get on the ballot again,” said Jaffe, an artist.

“At the same time, [I] felt that when it came right down to everything, [Bloomberg] was the safest choice… He has improved a lot of things.” At the same poll site, teacher Penny Shaw, 72, was far more enthusiastic about casting her ballot for a third Bloomberg term.

“I think he’s done a great job. I think the city is better. [I] think he’s a fair guy,” Shaw said.

“And I love that he spent all that money,” she added, referring to the more than $85 million Bloomberg has burned through so far.

“Everybody is complaining that he’s spending all this money, that it’s disgusting, but who’s getting the money? Instead of Bloomberg keeping it, working people are getting the money – the [waiters] at those benefit dinners and whatnot.”

The polls are open citywide until 9 p.m.

Click below for a video of Bloomberg going to the polls:

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{NY Daily News/Noam Newscenter}