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Mayor Bloomberg says he hopes de Blasio is 'even better'

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New York City Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio, left, join Mayor Michael Bloomberg for a meeting in the "Bull Pen," the mayor's main City Hall office, on Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2013, in New York.  (AP) New York City Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio, left, join Mayor Michael Bloomberg for a meeting in the "Bull Pen," the mayor's main City Hall office, on Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2013, in New York. (AP)

KAREN MATTHEWS | AP

NEW YORK (AP) — New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Friday that he hopes the administration of his successor, Bill de Blasio, "is even better" than his own.

De Blasio, a Democrat, won a lopsided victory over Republican Joe Lhota this week and will lead the nation's largest city after 12 years with Bloomberg at the helm. Bloomberg, an independent, said on his weekly radio show that he hopes for a "seamless transition."

"Everybody says, 'Oh, it's going to be a difficult transition,'" Bloomberg said. "It isn't."

He said most city employees won't leave when his administration ends on Dec. 31. "They go on, they do their jobs every day, and it'll continue," he said.

Bloomberg said he will not criticize de Blasio, just as his predecessor, Republican Rudolph Giuliani, refrained from criticizing him.

"I'm sure there were plenty of things I did that (Giuliani) didn't like, that he wanted to stand up there and yell and scream, but he didn't, and I won't," the mayor said.

He also touched on other races, including Democrat Terry McAuliffe's victory over Republican Ken Cuccinelli in the Virginia governor's race.

Blooomberg, a billionaire and longtime advocate of gun control, spent more than $1 million on ads criticizing Cuccinelli's position on gun rights. He called McAuliffe an "unapologetic backer of common-sense gun laws" and said his win proves "people want reasonable gun checks to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and people with psychiatric problems."

Bloomberg said McAuliffe won despite being rated F by the National Rifle Association while Cuccinelli was rated A. He said that a few years ago, if he had suggested that a candidate could win a southern governorship without the NRA's backing "you would have said I'm crazy."

NRA spokesman Andrew Arulanandam said Bloomberg's involvement in the race didn't help McAuliffe, and instead narrowed his lead over Cuccinelli from double digits to about three points.

"He was political poison," Arulanandam said.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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