NEW YORK (Reuters) - Patrick Lynch, the combative head of New York's largest police union, won a new term at the helm of the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association after fending off his first election challenge in more than a decade, the union said on Friday.
Rank-and-file police officers in the largest U.S. city handed Lynch a fifth four-year term as PBA president despite criticism by two rivals who said his confrontational style was out of step with New York's current political climate.
Lynch, the longest-serving PBA president in modern times, won the election by a landslide in "an incredible show of union solidarity," the PBA said in a statement.
Lynch was first elected in 1999 and built a reputation as a fierce advocate for his membership, challenging New York mayors over issues such as police benefits and safety.
Union members had a Friday deadline for returning ballots. The votes were tallied and the result announced on the same day.
(Reporting by Laila Kearney; Editing by Frank McGurty and Mohammad Zargham)