Home Asides Rudy: Lhota to decide on mayoral run by Christmas

Rudy: Lhota to decide on mayoral run by Christmas

by Benjamin Kabak

Even as Joe Lhota himself refuses to comment on the rumors that he may run for mayor, his former City Hall boss is far more willing to discuss the possibility. In an interview with Daily News reporter Ken Lovett, former Mayor Rudy Giuliani said that Lhota will decide by Christmas if he wants to ditch the MTA and run for mayor. “I’d like to see him run for the city and for the Republican Party, but I want him to be aware of the fact that it’s a very tough road,” Giuliani said.

According to The News, Lhota would have to step down as CEO and Chairman of the MTA were he to run for mayor next year, and Giuliani notes that this is a decision Lhota is not taking lightly. “He’s trying to figure it out. He loves his job,” the former mayor said. Lhota, said Rudy, must decide if he can “raise the cash to run a viable campaign.” Were he to run, Lhota would face a GOP primary challenger in Adolfo Carrión and a slate of Democrats who are both out-polling and out-fundraising their Republican counterparts. Furthermore, despite high marks from the public for the MTA’s post-Sandy performance, any Democrat outpolled Lhota by a 60-9 margin in a recent Q poll.

As I’ve said in the past, I’d prefer to see Lhota stay with the MTA. Lhota is the fifth agency head in the last six years, and turmoil at the top has cost the MTA an opportunity to move forward. Lhota’s current term runs through 2015, and were he to stay, he could oversee the next capital plan, a MetroCard replacement project and other innovations that have stalled amidst turnover in the CEO/Chairman position. Though should we really expect that much stability with the MTA these days?

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R. Graham December 3, 2012 - 4:40 pm

I’m torn. As much as I would prefer him to stay at the top of the MTA, if he’s actually electable as a Republican for the office of Mayor then he has to run. Nothing against Democrats but the city is loaded with Dems. From the citizens all the way up to City Council. The Mayor’s office has been the only balancing of the overkill Dem ratio for the past 18 years.

Bolwerk December 3, 2012 - 4:51 pm

There is no need to empower crypto-fascists for a misplaced notion of balance or “moderation.” Not saying there is a major upside, but there isn’t any particular downside to a complete Dem takeover vs a Dem/GOP split. If anything, the Democrats are more prone to squabbling amongst themselves than they are to squabbling with the more ideologically coherent/more evil GOP.

(Naturally, the scariest outcome of all is a complete Republikan takeover. But luckily NYC is fairly insulated from that contingency.)

BBnet3000 December 4, 2012 - 12:09 am

A Bloomberg, Guiliani, or Pataki arent Romney, Gingrich, or anybody of that ilk. The national party is not the same thing as the party in New York. We have nothing to fear from Republicans here, and much to fear from machine politicians running unopposed.

Nothing worse than a ballot with only one name on it. Thats not democracy.

Bolwerk December 4, 2012 - 11:44 am

Insofar as that’s true – and Giuliani certainly was a vicious authoritarian thug, Bloomberg goes along for the ride, and Pataki was every bit as corrupt and inept as GWB – it’s only because Democrats and odd baronial rich person occasionally try to jump to the head of the ticket by borrowing the Republican line.

There are usually lots of names on NYC ballots as far as I can tell. The problem is only one of them gets meaningful votes, whether there is a competing Republikan or not.

BenW December 4, 2012 - 1:09 pm

From the citizens all the way up to City Council.

I’m sort of perplexed by this logic. There are lots of Democratic voters, so we should have some Republican office-holders to balance them out?

Bolwerk December 3, 2012 - 5:02 pm

What the hell qualification does anyone see Lhota having? I have been and am pleasantly surprised that he has proven to be a good MTA boss. I really am. He should absolutely keep up the good work.

But the type of talents the MTA calls for are not the type that the mayor needs. (Bloomberg may have more of the former than the latter himself, and he gets away with it because he can use money to make up for deficiencies in the latter.) A mayor needs to be able to grease wheels, use the bully pulpit, control scandals, pick the right people to administrate bureaucratic machinery, not piss off Albany and Washington, not piss off too many interest groups (at once?), fund raise, etc..

Bloomberg has money to buy elections (legally), and Giuliani had the demographic wind at his back to create a myth that he was a raging-prick crime annihilator. Even Dinkens and Koch had some traits that fit the time and place.

Serious question: what does Lhota have?

AK December 4, 2012 - 9:21 am

He has encyclopedic knowledge of the budget, which is critical in an era of increasing deficits. He has significant operational experience (he was the “Cas Holloway” of the Giuliani years and was staffed with keeping the City functioning after 9/11). He has none of the political polish or community connections of the declared mayoral candidates (this cuts both ways). All in all, an intriguing candidate, in my view.

Bolwerk December 4, 2012 - 12:52 pm

I fully agree he’s a very competent bureaucrat, but that seems like a possible case for not being a very effective (not to say or not say incompetent) mayor. Mayors need to understand budgets, of course, but they don’t need to OCD knowledge of them.

BrooklynBus December 4, 2012 - 9:51 am

Not much. He is taking more credit than he deserves. If he decides to run it only proves he is another politician and is doing what he is asked by Republican leaders. That he cares more about politics and himself than he does about the MTA. Read what I wrote for Sheepsheadbites. http://www.sheepsheadbites.com.....ing-sandy/

Alex C December 5, 2012 - 12:00 am

New York City votes largely Democratic, so what is the point of having a Republican lead this city? To make them feel better? Lhota has done good as head of the MTA, and I hope he sticks to what he is good at. I like the guy, but Republicans in elected government positions has lead to disaster over the past 32 years.

Bolwerk December 5, 2012 - 11:42 am

Indeed. By all means, vote for the best candidate, but the best candidate is never a Republikan.


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