Faulkner exit leaves Malliotakis vs. Massey in GOP primary
Assemblymember Nicole Malliotakis, waging a bid to become New York City’s first female mayor, now finds herself in a two-way race for the Republican Party nomination after the Rev. Michel Faulkner dropped out.
The Daily News reported that Faulkner, a former New York Jet defensive lineman who is now a church pastor, is dropping out of the race for mayor and will instead run for comptroller against Democratic incumbent Scott Stringer.
Faulkner’s departure leaves only Malliotakis, a three-term assemblymember, and Paul Massey, founder of the Massey Knakal real estate firm, in the race to see who will run on the Republican line against Democratic incumbent Mayor Bill de Blasio in November.
“New York City needs new financial leadership to end the unsustainable tax-and-spend policies that are making the city unaffordable for many of our citizens and putting the Big Apple at risk of financial distress,” Faulkner told the Daily News, adding that he intended to “run a vigorous general election campaign for comptroller against Scott Stringer.”
Another candidate, retired detective and Fox News personality Bo Dietl, is also running for mayor. The Republican Party has declined to allow Dietl to run on their line.
Malliotakis (R-C-Bay Ridge-Staten Island) officially announced her mayoral bid in a press conference at City Hall last week.
On May 8, Malliotakis said she was grateful for the support she has received from her friend and frequent political supporter, billionaire supermarket mogul John Catsimatidis, who announced that he will not run for mayor.
“I am humbled and grateful to my friend and mentor John Catsimatidis for his support of my campaign for Mayor of New York City. John embodies all that is good about New York. He is a brilliant businessman and philanthropist and he is respected by everyone for his love of New York City. John Catsimatidis’ support and guidance will be invaluable to me both on the campaign trail and when I reach City Hall,” Malliotakis said in a statement.
Catsimatidis ran for the Republican Party’s nomination to run for mayor in 2013, but lost to Joe Lhota. Lhota went on to lose to de Blasio in a landslide.
Catsimatidis, who said Malliotakis “can relate to so many New Yorkers who are reaching for the American Dream,” added that he will be “merely a phone call away as her race for mayor unfolds,” a hint that he is there to help her if she requests it.
Malliotakis has been endorsed by the Brooklyn Conservative Party and by fellow lawmaker Assemblymember Ron Castorina (R-Staten Island).
Expressing her gratitude to Castorina, Malliotakis described him as “someone who is principled, independent and widely respected both in the New York State Assembly and across Staten Island.”
Malliotakis and Castorina joined forces in 2016 to file a lawsuit against the de Blasio administration over its controversial policy of destroying personal records — like names, addresses and Social Security numbers — of New Yorkers applying for IDNYC identification cards.
The cards, which are accepted as a form of government issued identification, are available to all New York City residents, regardless of whether the person if a lifelong resident, a legal immigrant or an undocumented immigrant.
Malliotakis and Castorina argued in court that the personal records should be stored by the city in the interest of public safety.
The two lawmakers lost the case.
“Working alongside Assemblyman Ron Castorina for the last year, there is perhaps nobody who knows my work ethic and passion to fight for my constituents better than he,” Malliotakis said in a statement.
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