New York (CNN) – Bill de Blasio will be the first Democratic mayor in New York City in two decades, easily defeating Republican Joe Lhota by running a campaign that rejected the politics of his predecessor, Michael Bloomberg.
Known for its liberal politics, New York City has not elected a Democrat in the last five mayoral elections, with Bloomberg serving three terms and Rudolph Giuliani before him serving two.
De Blasio, who held around a 40-point lead in almost every survey since the start of the general election in mid-September, ended that streak Tuesday.
He ran a campaign with a progressive agenda, saying that Bloomberg favored the wealthy Manhattan elites and unfairly targeted minorities with the unpopular "stop-and-frisk" police policy.
Here are five things to know about the next mayor of New York City.
1. He was a primary underdog
De Blasio was the longshot candidate for the Democrats, starting the primary campaign with just 10% of his party's support in polls before going on to win the primary.
He first surged past former Rep. Anthony Weiner, who lost his lead when his campaign imploded after his second sexting scandal, to move neck-and-neck with Bloomberg favorite Christine Quinn, defeating her on Primary Day when he secured more than 40% of the vote and avoided a runoff.
2. Is he qualified to run New York City?
Until recently, de Blasio was a relative unknown in New York City politics. He is the city's current public advocate, a position that is sort of a watchdog for the people. Before that, he ran Hillary Clinton's first U.S. Senate campaign.
His lack of time in the spotlight has critics questioning whether with a small staff and a thin resume he's up to running the Big Apple and the $70 billion budget that goes along with it.
De Blasio brushes off his critics by saying that he has heard the criticisms many times during his 25-year public life in New York City.
3. The family effect
De Blasio introduced himself and his biracial family by featuring them prominently in commercials and campaign events - many political watchers say to his advantage.
His 15-year-old son, Dante, has his own campaign ad speaking directly into the camera highlighting his father's views, including his stance against the unpopular NYPD "stop-and-frisk" policy.
His wife, Chirlane McCray, is front and center as his chief strategist and once identified herself as lesbian before marrying de Blasio.
4. The anti-Bloomberg
DeBlasio calls himself the "unapologetically progressive alternative to the Bloomberg era," saying that the current mayor's polices favor the rich. He has repeatedly used phrases such as "income inequality" and "a tale of two cities" to describe New York City under Bloomberg.
De Blasio cites the city's 21% poverty rate as proof of this, and he campaigned on closing the gap by pushing real estate developers to build or preserve 200,000 affordable homes and creating a universal pre-K program for the poor, funded by raising taxes on those who make a $500,000 or more.
The anti-Bloomberg, wealth inequality message resonated particularly well with minority and low-income voters - de Blasio had a much larger advantage over Lhota among black and Latino voters compared to white voters.
5. Stopping 'stop-and-frisk'
One of the most controversial issues in the race was the "stop-and-frisk" policy that allows New York police to search people in high-crime areas. De Blasio says that this policy unfairly targets poor and minority neighborhoods and has vowed to end the policy, calling it racist.
With felony crime down 75% under the Giuliani and Bloomberg administrations, Lhota called de Blasio's views on public safety "reckless" and vowed to keep the law in effect if he was elected.
De Blasio responded by saying that the city can be safer if it takes the core of what has been built and creates a better relationship between police and communities.