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NEW YORK (AFP) – The New York Post newspaper on Monday backed Democrat Christine Quinn and Republican Joseph Lotha in the city’s mayoral race, a day after the New York Times made the same pick.

The endorsement comes ahead of the September 10 primary elections, with the winner from each party to battle it out on November 5 to replace current Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

The New York Post daily recommends that Democrats vote for City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, 47, “who has shown the basic common sense any mayor needs.”

Republicans are advised to give their vote to former Metropolitan Transit Authority president Joseph Lhota, 58, whose “record of achievement and solid ideas on tough issues offer the best chance for an accountable and effective government.”

The paper highlights an “historic and very important election,” warning New York could easily slide back into the “grimy, crime-ravaged urban wasteland” it was two decades ago.

Quinn, one of seven democrats in the race, and the first female and openly-gay speaker, also received the backing of the New York Times on Sunday.

“Quinn inspires the most confidence that she would be the right mayor for the inevitable times when hope and idealism collide with the challenge of getting something done,” said the Times.

The paper also endorsed Lhota as the best-qualified among the three Republican candidates.

Last week the New York Daily News also gave the nod to Quinn for mayor. She is neck-and-neck with Bill de Blasio, the city’s public advocate, with 24 percent each of the projected vote in the most recent polls.

Traditionally, New York is dominated by Democrats — though the city has not elected a mayor from that party in 20 years — and the winner of the Democratic primary is likely to have a good chance of winning in November.

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