Stringer romps to re-election as New York City comptroller

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Democrat Scott Stringer on Tuesday easily won re-election to a second term as New York City comptroller, trouncing Republican challenger Michel Faulkner.

Stringer captured roughly 77% of vote, with the New York City Board of Elections reporting 98.1% of ballots scanned. Faulkner totaled 20% while Green Party candidate Julia Willebrand earned 3%.

The comptroller's supporters celebrated at the Treadwell Park Downtown tavern in lower Manhattan.

Stringer, a former Manhattan borough president and state assemblyman from the Upper West Side, campaigned on his progressive advocacy and pension fund management over four years.

The comptroller is the city's chief fiscal officer, and conducts audits while overseeing the $85 billion operating budget.

Calling pension-fund management his most essential job component, Stringer cited the 7.4% gains in the five city retirement funds, the creation of a common investment board and a push for board diversity among fund managers. The pension funds were valued at $187 billion as of August.

He also said his office saved $2.7 billion of debt saved through bond refinancings and $1 billion saved by weeding out fraud and waste.

Stringer also campaigned on social-justice themes. His platform included a call to triple the earned income tax credit. Such a move, he said, would lift 15,000 city families above the poverty line and pump $200 million into the local economy.

"Millions of New Yorkers will go to sleep tonight hoping for some kind of miracle to stay afloat," said Stringer. "That’s why we must triple the EITC."

He has also been sharply critical of President Trump's Republican administration in Washington.

"When it comes to Washington's tax plan, its clear that Mar-A-Lago wins while everyday Americans lose," he said, referring to Trump's Florida home.

Republican Faulkner, founder and minister of the New Horizon Church in Harlem and a former New York Jets football player, had accused Stringer of not pushing back enough while the city's operating budget under Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio spiked to $85 billion from $70 billion over four years,

De Blasio easily won re-election Tuesday night. Stringer and de Blasio, sometimes at odds over four years, endorsed each other's re-election bids.

According to the city's comprehensive annual financial report, which Stringer released last week, the city registered a 2.1% increase in real gross city product for fiscal 2017.

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Budgets Public pensions Scott Stringer City of New York, NY New York