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Bill Thompson says he's in it to win it

Democratic New York City mayoral candidate Bill Thompson on Sunday reaffirmed his determination to wait out what he called a "slow" vote recount.

"There's still a number of people telling me to hang in there . . . who are saying every ballot should be counted and every voice should be heard," said Thompson, speaking at a breakfast in Harlem before the African-American Day Parade -- his first campaign event since Tuesday's primary election left him in limbo.

His campaign since Tuesday has lost some supporters to Democratic rival Bill de Blasio, who won the primary with about 40 percent of the vote, according to unofficial results. If de Blasio has less than 40 percent after the recount and a tally of paper ballots, he and Thompson, the runner-up with about 26 percent, must compete in an Oct. 1 runoff to determine the Democratic nominee.

The New York City Board of Elections Sunday night completed a check of the voting-machine results, but a report on the findings would not be ready until Monday, a spokeswoman said. The board will begin counting the tens of thousands of paper ballots today.

Thompson backer Rep. Charles Rangel (D-Harlem) at the breakfast referenced the voting rights struggle in discussing the vote recount.

"You cannot possibly have a winner of the race until all the votes are counted," Rangel said. "The best part about all of this is Bill de Blasio is saying this."

Thompson, de Blasio and Independence Party mayoral candidate Adolfo Carrion Jr. on Sunday attended the African-American Day Parade in Harlem. Republican contender Joe Lhota, meanwhile, marched in midtown Manhattan's Mexican Day Parade.

De Blasio said the interaction between his team and Thompson's has been "very respectful."

"We felt great on election night with the number we got," he said of his campaign. "We think that number's going to hold. We respect, though, the right of anyone to a full recount."

De Blasio touted his growing coalition. He has since Tuesday picked off former Thompson supporters including Assembs. Walter Mosley and Karim Camara (both D-Brooklyn) and former backers of Christine Quinn, who placed third in the primary and conceded the race, including the Service Employees International Union's Local 32BJ, which represents building workers.

De Blasio earlier in the day visited New Hope Christian Fellowship Church in East Flatbush with his wife and daughter, saying the church's name, "new hope," represented his vision for New York City. "I don't accept the status quo of this town," he said.

De Blasio rode an anti-Mayor Michael Bloomberg wave to the front of the Democratic pack. Lhota, the presumptive Republican nominee, also has distanced himself from the mayor.

"I've not sought out the mayor's endorsement," Lhota told WABC Sunday, referencing Bloomberg's decision not to formally back anyone in the Nov. 5 general election. "I appreciate the fact that he wants to stay independent."

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