Malliotakis hits ground running in mayoral race
Assemblymember Nicole Malliotakis, a late entrant in the race to win the Republican Party’s nomination to run against incumbent Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio, spent the early days of her campaign crisscrossing the city seeking to make up for lost time.
After filing the official paperwork with New York state last week to clear the way for a mayoral run, Malliotakis made the rounds at several TV and radio stations for interviews. She also appeared at a forum for Republican candidates sponsored by the Metropolitan Republican Club on April 26.
At the forum, Malliotakis (R-C-Bay Ridge-Staten Island) was pitted against the other GOP candidates in the race: real estate executive Paul Massey, former New York Jet Rev. Michael Faulkner and investigator and TV personality Bo Dietl.
Dietl did not file paperwork on time to run as a Republican and would need to petition the party in order to be a candidate in the GOP primary.
On April 27, Malliotakis began fundraising in earnest, posting statements on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter.
“I can begin accepting online contributions today! Help me make Bill de Blasio a one-term mayor. I need all my supporters to chip in! As little as $10 will go a long way!” she wrote on Facebook.
The Staten Island Advance reported that the presence of Malliotakis in the race would appear to call into question the front-runner status of Massey, the founder of the giant Massey Knakal real estate empire. Massey has been able to raise significant funds, but the entry of Malliotakis, who has long been considered a rising star in the Republican Party, could dampen enthusiasm for him, according to political observers.
Malliotakis has not been shy about criticizing de Blasio.
The assemblymember even took the mayor to court over his policy of destroying personal records of New Yorkers who filed for IDNYC identification cards.
Malliotakis and fellow Republican Assemblymember Ron Castorina Jr. (R-Staten Island) filed a lawsuit to try to prevent the de Blasio administration from destroying IDNYC records. But the two lawmakers lost a big court battle when Hon. Phillip G. Minardo of the New York State Supreme Court ruled that the administration is within its rights to destroy personal records of IDNYC card holders like names, Social Security numbers and information on immigration.
The IDNYC cards are available to all New Yorkers, including undocumented immigrants.
Malliotakis and Castorina had argued that the records of applicants should be stored for public safety purposes. The records should also be subject to Freedom of Information law (FOIL) requests, the two elected officials contended.
In a recent interview with the Brooklyn Eagle, Malliotakis blasted de Blasio over his plan to close Rikers Island and open smaller jails around the city. She predicted that another de Blasio proposal, to open 90 homeless shelters around the five boroughs, will be met with fierce opposition in several neighborhoods.
“We have rising property taxes. Water bills keep going up. The taxpayers are sick and tired of paying all of this money out and not getting results,” Malliotakis said.
The mayor’s policies “are hurting this city,” she told the Eagle.
Bill de Blasio was elected mayor in 2013 and is running for his second term in office.
Malliotakis first won her Assembly seat in 2010 when she defeated Democratic incumbent Janele Hyer-Spencer. The race marked the first time Malliotakis had ever run for public office. She was re-elected in 2012, 2014 and 2016, with comfortable margins each time.
The Republican primary will take place on Sept. 12. The general election is Nov. 7.
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