Thursday, December 13, 2012


A GOP stampede! Republican honchos fret as 2 more ponder joining mayoral race 

Brooklyn GOP boss Craig Eaton: A crowded field 'forces the candidates to attack each other — and I just think that it’s counterproductive.'












Joe Lhota is eyingmayoral run.Craig Warga/Daily News

Craig Warga/STF

Joe Lhota is eyingmayoral run.Craig Warga/Daily News

METRO: John Catsimatidis: Sponsor of Citizenship NOW! -Owner of

Jeanne Noonan/for New York Daily News

METRO: John Catsimatidis: Sponsor of Citizenship NOW! -Owner of

The Republican race for mayor suddenly has become crowded — and party leaders are worried.
At least four people say they are running for the Republican nomination — and two more, including MTA boss Joe Lhota, are weighing whether to plunge into the race.
A crowded field “forces the candidates to attack each other — and I just think that it’s counterproductive,” Brooklyn GOP boss Craig Eaton told the Daily News.
Bronx Republican Chairman Jay Savino said, “The Democrats would like nothing more.”
“We have such an enrollment disadvantage in the city . . . that we can’t afford to be tearing each other apart,” he said.
A large field likely would complicate any candidacy by Lhota — whom many business leaders are lobbying to enter the race because they are dissatisfied with the crop of Democratic candidates.
Some Republican leaders say there is a silver lining in having so many people seeking the Republican nomination.
Manhattan Republican Chairman Daniel Isaacs said the clamor to run as a Republican proves the crop of Democratic mayoral wanna-bes is not particularly strong.
“A year ago, everyone was saying, ‘No Republican wants to run for mayor.’ Now we have half a dozen serious contenders,” he said. “Our cup runneth over, as they say.”
Only one of the six people running or weighing whether to run in the Republican primary — Lhota — is a longtime member of the party. The rest have been Democrats most of their adult lives.
Three of them — weekly newspaper publisher Tom Allon, nonprofit executive George McDonald and former Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrión — left the Democratic Party recently just to seek the GOP nomination.
Another candidate, grocery store magnate John Catsimatidis, was a Democrat until 2007. And Queens state Sen. Malcolm Smith, who is weighing whether to run as a Republican, is still a Democrat.
Michael Bloomberg took an identical path of opportunism to City Hall, leaving the Democratic Party so he could run as a Republican in 2001 and extend an amazing winning streak: Although the city is overwhelmingly Democratic, no Democrat has been elected mayor since David Dinkins in 1989 — when the subway fare was just $1.
The Republican county chairmen said that no matter how many people run, they would like to coalesce behind one candidate early next year.
Isaacs and Queens Chairman Phil Ragusa said there’s more talking to be done, but both like the idea of a Catsimatidis candidacy.
The Brooklyn Republican chairman supports Carrión while the Bronx chairman is said to be leaning toward him.
Robert Scamardella of Staten Island is playing it close to the vest.
“I’m not going to make a decision until I know what my options are,” he said.
“If we get into that situation where we have different (county leaders) going with different individuals, we’re only hurting our chances of winning in the general election,” he said.
ckatz@nydailynews.com
Post a Comment