NEW YORK (AP) - The race to elect the next mayor of New York City in some ways began on Oct. 23, 2008.

On that day, the City Council voted to overturn term limits, which led to Mayor Michael Bloomberg securing another four years in office.

That contentious decision had a ripple effect that crippled several candidates and propelled Public Advocate Bill de Blasio (dih BLAH'-zee-oh) to the Democratic nomination.

De Blasio would be the first Democrat elected mayor since 1989. He has emphasized fighting income inequality, better police-community relations and a tax hike on the wealthy to pay for universal prekindergarten.

He now has a nearly 40-point lead in the polls over Republican Joe Lhota (LOH'-tuh) with just days before Tuesday's election.

Lhota is a former deputy mayor to Rudolph Giuliani.

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