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NYC-Mayor: Lhota (R) officially enters

by: shamlet

Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 13:47:40 PM EST

Former MTA Chairman Joseph Lhota of Brooklyn Heights has made it official - he's taking on the seemingly impossible task of keeping Republicans' improbable hold on Gracie Mansion.

The former Metropolitan Transportation Authority chairman announced on Twitter that he is now a candidate for mayor of New York City. Lhota officially entered the race Thursday morning after filing documents with the Board of Elections and the city’s Campaign Finance Board.

Lhota, a top Giulliani aide, will run with Rudy's endorsement, NYC-friendly libertarian-style views, and considerable credit as a policy maker. Thus, he immediately jumps ahead of a profoundly uninspiring crop of Republicans and non-Republicans seeking the GOP line in candidate quality.

The first task for Lhota is to shut down a primary. If a non-Republican, like ex-Bronx BP Adolfo Carrion (I-City Island) or State Sen. Malcolm Smith (ID-Jamaica, Queens) secures three county chairs' blessings, they can force a primary. Thankfully, internal squabbling looks likely to doom both. A bigger threat is John Catsimatidis, the billionaire grocery store owner initially thought to be Republicans' savior in the race. Catsimatidis is still thinking about running but his trial phase has proven him to be a spectacularly inept candidate with a strong propensity for foot-in-mouth disease. It would be in the party's best interest if he stayed out.

After Lhota navigates those waters, his reward will be a dramatically uphill fight in the general election. A Q poll out yesterday showed him losing by comically large margins to each of the three serious Democrats mounting bids, Council Speaker Christine Quinn, ex-Comptroller Bill Thompson, and Public Advocate Bill DeBlasio. It's a tough road, but for the first time in this race, Republicans have a small hope of winning America's biggest and most powerful mayorality this year.

shamlet :: NYC-Mayor: Lhota (R) officially enters
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"libertarian-style views"
I am curious what is meant by the term "NYC-friendly libertarian-style views".

Nobody thinks of NYC as a "libertarian" kind of place, do they? Private ownership of guns is virtually a felony. Labor unions and demographic-quotas (ethnic, sexual, etc.) dominate every aspect of civic life. Unless things have changed very recently, residents have to file income tax returns with the City in addition to the State and Federal govt's. And now of course, we have Bloomberg regulating the size of soft-drinks.

Gotham is practically a real-life thought-experiment in how to construct the most un-libertarian society imaginable.

Age 44. Location: GA-04 & GA-05.

Read as
"not a social conservative"

R - MD-7

[ Parent ]
Now it all makes sense.

Age 44. Location: GA-04 & GA-05.

[ Parent ]
Neither is Bloomberg

libertarian Republican, TX-14/MN-04

[ Parent ]
I suspect Lhota will basically have the R primary to himself
I suspect very few registered Republicans would actually pull the lever for non-Republicans like Carrion or Smith or a a D-turned-R like Allon. The less said about Catsimatidis, the better, even if his wealth is pretty.

As for the general, though, it'll be tough to say the least. Quinn, who's destined to be the nominee, has some support among the business community, which for a Democrat running citywide is atypical and makes for an all-but-guaranteed path to electoral success. She also has Koch and Bloomberg behind her.

If, however, Quinn somehow loses the primary to De Blasio or Thompson, it could be a real race. I'm just not much convinced there's more than a sliver of a chance that happens.

25, MA-07, Rockefeller Republican. Jeb 2016. Visit me at

Lhota has Rudy (& maybe even Cuomo in his corner)
Remember Lhota is a Cuomo appointee and they are close. So you could see some behind the scenes support from him for Lhota depending on how Dem primary shakes out. If the Dem primary gets bloody (which it will) it creates opening for Lhota who will get Dem crossover support. Dont under estimate Thompson. The Dem primary is dominated by Muni Unions who want a stooge as Mayor and minority voters who might show up as undecided now but will end up voting for Thompson in mass (ala the early Hillary vs Obama polls vs the final election results). Its early and the history of NYC Mayor races has been late breaks that defy what the early polls say. Bottom line here is with Lhota in the GOP gets their best candidate in the race as Rudy's deputy Mayor goes for the top job.

[ Parent ]
This reminds me a lot of HI-SEN 2012
Where IF Democrats have a divisive primary and Republicans get x candidate and these people are backing him AND Democrats bolt their candidate maybe guy z can win.

I just don't see it.  Lhota is not a top tier recruit.  I think even Thompson would dispatch him, and I can only see Thompson or Quinn winning the primary.

I could be wrong though.

34/M/D/NY-01 DKE:Socks The Cat

[ Parent ]
Unrelated NYC News
State Rep. Micah Kellner is running for city council.

The reason this matters - Kellner has been one of the very few assembly Dems willing to speak out against Silver (though he does so very softly). During the redistricting fight I pegged him as a potential leader of an anti-Silver coalition (of Republicans and a dozen or so reformist Dems) if Republicans gained more seats under a court map. The maps did their trick and are forcing him off to greener pastures... that's why DK anger at Cuomo is fundamentally misplaced - Silver needed the maps to control his caucus just as much as Rs needed them to keep power.  

R - MD-7

FYI: they are called Assemblyman not state Rep in NY
They are never referred to as State Reps in NYS. But a simpler answer might be NYC Councilman have a much higher salary, a bigger staff and have more power than an Assemblyman. Councilman still get member items (pork) to spread around. Also Kellner is disabled. He was born with cerebral palsy so commuting back and forth from Albany might not be so easy for him.  

[ Parent ]

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