EDITOR’S NOTE (Nick Stamatakis): After the disaster that the communist De Blasio and the corrupt Cuomo have wrought on us in New York, I think we would all agree that NYC needs as a leader someone who is defined first and foremost as a businessman: only a person with a ground to reality business mind would be able to collect the ruins of this greatest city on earth and pave a path to a (very long for sure) recovery. In that sense, I was contemplating for a while to forget last year’s threats by Catsimatidis for lawsuits against free speech… After all, he did not proceed to materialize these – totally baseless – threats of lawsuits and I have to assume that he had some serious self-reflection on the issue. And on the other side, we are supposed to forgive and forget as good Christians – if we want to first practice our faith and, second, to live in a peaceful society… And I was thinking if I should endorse him… As an added bonus, he is a Greek-American – although I believe we should re-consider as a community our stance to indiscriminately support fellow Greek-Americans, especially those who go against our faith and our interests (Mike Giannaris is chief among them: he proved to be anti-business and he disgustingly endorsed abortion at the same day as birth – how does GOA “leadership” dare admit him for photo-ops and the rest?)
But now Catsimatidis started flip-flopping contemplating to run as a Democrat: “This is a Democratic city, and I was a Bill Clinton Democrat. I was a Democrat for a long time”, he says and he explains: “I’m a middle-of-the-road guy. I can be a conservative Democrat, or I can be a liberal Republican”, he says in the interview to “politico.com” below… Regardless of his flip-flops, I still think NYC needs a businessman as a leader – and I do not see any other businessman running… But most of all he needs someone who would run on an anti-corruption platform and a free-speech and pro-business agenda. It was a welcome surprise that in heavily Latino South Bronx Trump increased his results by a lot… This should send a message to all – to democrats like AOC and to all political candidates…
Will Catsimatidis respond to the call? He can run as a democrat but will he run as an anti-Cuomo, anti-corruption democrat? Very doubtful, but we will wait and see…
Billionaire John Catsimatidis — who Republicans have viewed as their best hope in the 2021 mayoral race — now says he’s considering switching parties and jumping into the Democratic race instead.
Catsimatidis, a supermarket mogul and supporter of President Donald Trump, told POLITICO he expects to make a decision in the next few weeks.
“I may want to run as a Democrat with this ranked choice thing,” he said, referring to a new system of ranked choice voting that will allow voters to choose several candidates in order of preference in the June primary.
“This is a Democratic city, and I was a Bill Clinton Democrat. I was a Democrat for a long time,” Catsimatidis said. “I’m a middle-of-the-road guy. I can be a conservative Democrat, or I can be a liberal Republican.”
Few Republicans have entered the race for mayor, even as a large field of Democrats compete for their party’s nomination. Republican party leaders had hoped that Catsimatidis, who lost the Republican primary in 2013 and could self-finance a campaign, would enter the fray and become an instant favorite for their nomination.
But in an acknowledgment of the tough odds facing any Republican candidate, Catsimatidis said he’s now wondering if he would have a better shot as a Democrat, appealing to moderate voters who are concerned about public safety.
“The Democratic party needs somebody with courage to stand up against the crazy Democrats. There’s a lot of moderate Democrats I have a lot of respect for, I’ve supported in the past,” he said. “With ranked choice voting in the primary, who knows what happens? … I think 80 percent of New Yorkers have common sense, and want somebody with common sense and a business head.”
Still, Catsimatidis isn’t swearing off his support for Trump, who was impeached this week after a mob of his supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol.
“If you vote on personality, he loses. If you vote on performance for our country, he did a great job for our economy. He did a great job sealing the border,” he said. “He did make mistakes. But he did a lot of good stuff for our country, and he doesn’t deserve the treatment he’s getting right now.”
As they wait on a final decision from Catsimatidis, Republicans — who for twenty years elected mayors in an overwhelmingly Democratic city — have only a handful of less well-known candidates. The small field reflects the challenges faced by the party — significant in any year, but exacerbated by the divisions caused by Trump.
“The odds are insurmountable. But then again, I’m the chair of the Bronx Republican party — when are the odds not insurmountable?” said Bronx GOP chair Mike Rendino.
None of the current crop of Republican elected officials has shown a serious interest in the race.
Former Wall street executive Sara Tirschwell launched her campaign for the Republican nomination this week. Fernando Mateo, who leads associations of bodegas and cab drivers, says he is all but certain to run.
Retired NYPD officer Bill Pepitone has also declared his candidacy, while Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa has said he plans to run but has not filed to formally create a campaign.
Rendino said he had hoped Catsimatidis would run as a Republican, but now expects to support Mateo, a Dominican immigrant who might make inroads among Latino voters. While still losing by a huge margin, Trump improved his performance in the recent election in the heavily Latino South Bronx.
“After what happened last week in the Capitol, it’s time to turn the page and to redefine the Republican party,” Rendino said. “The fact [is] that the president, whether you like him or not, was taking all the air out of the room for the last four years. There really was no lane for a Republican to lead here in New York City.”
Mateo said he plans to run unless Catsimatidis gets into the Republican race.
“I’m an urban Republican,” he said. “It’s a way of changing the image of the party … The face of the Republican party has always been a white face. And people of color have been left out.”
He said he voted for Trump, but thinks voters will judge him on his own merits. “I am far from being President Trump. I don’t look like him. I don’t come from where he comes from. I don’t act like him. I don’t have his arrogance. I am a very different type of Republican,” he said.
Pepitone, the former NYPD officer, said he would champion a return to broken windows policing, cracking down on smaller offenses.
“I believe there’s a pervasive feeling that Republicans can’t win in New York City, and I don’t think the Republican party has done a good enough job disputing that,” he said.
But J.C. Polanco, who was the Republican nominee for public advocate four years ago, said the party would have a hard time reconciling the fiscally moderate, socially liberal brand that has brought it success in New York with the direction the party has gone under Trump.
“It’s just very difficult for a person like myself who is a never Trumper, who believes that the type of white nationalism and the grievance we’ve seen in the last four years is an affront to my humanity,” he said.
“It’s very hard to talk about economic development and the importance of creating charter schools and giving educational opportunities to those who have been historically disadvantaged, when you have the kind of rhetoric and the kind of thing you saw in Washington last week. It’s an impossibility.”