Catsimatidis clears path for Malliotakis to run for mayor
Assemblymember Nicole Malliotakis made it clear when she was toying with the idea of running for mayor that she would not run if her friend and fellow Republican John Catsimatidis entered the race. “John and I are not looking to run against each other,” she recently told the Brooklyn Eagle.
On Monday, Catsimatidis, the billionaire supermarket mogul, announced that he is sitting out the race for City Hall this time around.
“I have often said I have one more race for office in me. But, after careful consideration and consultation with my family, friends and advisers, I have decided the 2017 race for mayor of New York will not be it,” Catsimatidis said in a statement.
Catsimatidis ran for the Republican Party’s nomination for mayor in 2013 and lost to Joe Lhota. Lhota went on to lose the mayor’s race to Democrat Bill de Blasio.
Catsimatidis, who owns a chain of Gristedes Supermarkets, admitted that his decision was a tough one “because I truly love this city and its people.”
He did not endorse Malliotakis in his statement, but his decision to bow out allows her to throw herself into the race with full force. The two have been friends for years and share a Greek-American heritage.
Malliotakis told the Staten Island Advance that she will make a formal announcement about the race for mayor this week.
She would be the first female mayor of New York City.
Malliotakis (R-C-Bay Ridge-Staten Island) filed paperwork last week with the New York City Campaign Finance Board and has started soliciting campaign contributions.
She has also picked up her first major endorsement. Leaders of the Brooklyn Conservative Party announced that they are backing her. Party Chairman Jerry Kassar tweeted about the endorsement on Twitter on Tuesday.
Malliotakis would be the third Republican to enter the race. Real estate tycoon Paul Massey, founder of the Massey Knakal real estate firm; and the Rev. Michel Faulkner, a former New York Jets player, are already busy on the campaign trail.
Retired detective and TV personality Bo Dietl is also running.
The Republican Primary will take place on Sept. 12. The general election is Nov. 7. Mayor de Blasio is running for his second term.
While Catsimatidis is sitting out the mayor’s race, he made it clear that he is not sitting on the sidelines of public discourse.
“Even though I won’t be a candidate, I will continue to speak out on the issues of the day on my weekly radio show, giving my honest opinion on what’s right and what’s wrong in our city, our state and our nation. I will always fight to protect those who run small businesses and are burdened by high taxes, red tape and regulation. These businesses are the lifeblood of our city and I want other New Yorkers, especially immigrants, to have the same opportunities I had to live the American Dream,” Catsimatidis stated.
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