An underdog leaps to front of NYC mayor's race

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NEW YORK (AP) — Bill de Blasio (deh BLAH'-zee-oh) was an afterthought in the New York City mayoral race just weeks ago. Now, he's a front-runner.

De Blasio is the city's public advocate and the most liberal member of the Democratic field trying to replace Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

He has been a vocal critic of the New York Police Department and wants to raise taxes on the city's richest residents to pay for pre-kindergarten programs. He has put his interracial family at the center of his campaign and surged in the polls after Anthony Weiner's support collapsed.

De Blasio says people want a "real change" after 12 years of Bloomberg.

Pundits believe de Blasio is peaking at the right time, but the race is too close to call. The primary is Sept. 10.

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