At Joe Lhota's Election Party, Less Despair Than You Might Expect

"No, no, no," Lhota told them. De Blasio's "success alone deserves my respect." Although it was "natural to feel some disappointment," he added, "we fought a good fight, and it was a fight worth having." That said, "Despite what you may have heard, we are one city. ... We are five boroughs, but we are one city. We are one people, and we want our city to move forward, not backwards. And I do hope our mayor-elect understands this before it's too late." He also quoted the Apostle Paul: "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith."

"You're a class act, Joe!" a man shouted from the back of the room.

Lhota also thanked his wife, Tamra, and daughter, Kathryn, adding wryly, in a reference to de Blasio's camera-ready family, "They were working tremendously hard on the campaign, although they didn't make a commercial." He also thanked former mayor Rudy Giuliani for "your guidance, support and friendship," and credited him with beginning "the renaissance of the city of New York."

"I can honestly say we conducted our campaign with energy and substance," Lhota concluded. "There will be Monday-morning quarterbacking, especially from people who have never been in the ring. But I will never spend one moment regretting what might have been. New Yorkers never quit. New Yorkers never surrender. New Yorkers never hide from history -- New Yorkers, we make history. So let's move forward. God bless all of you, and God bless the great city of New York."

Lhota and his family left the stage quickly. "Don't Stop Believing" started up again. Everyone stood still for a moment, then started making for the exits.

"We just elected a mayor who's a clown," Ryan Downey mourned nearby, a beer in hand. "He has no business running New York City. He has no experience. And now he's our mayor, because he's a Democrat."

Downey, a Wall Street bond analyst, lives just across the street from the Gansevoort, and he'd come over for a little solidarity. "He's a nothing," he elaborated. "We elected a nothing." That said, he added, "I like everything Joe Lhota stands for, but he didn't run a great campaign." But de Blasio will be far worse: "I just don't think he's worthy of New York City."

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