Billionaire businessman John Catsimatidis‘ bid to gain the Republican nomination for the New York City Mayor’s race fell by the wayside on Sept. 10 when he was easily pushed back by former deputy mayor Joe Lhota, who got 52 percent of the vote to his challenger’s 41 percent even though Catsimatidis spent $4 million of his own money in a bid to be the first Greek-American mayor of the United States’ largest city.
On the Democratic side, the city’s Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, 52, fashioned a late surge in the campaign to take first place although it was uncertain whether he had the 40 percent of the needed to avoid a runoff.
Former City Controller Bill Thomson was second while the long-time front runner, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who would have been the first female and openly gay person to hold the job, finished a disappointing and sagging third.
The candidates were seeking to replace Michael Bloomberg who finished three terms in office. He had run as a Republican but became an Independent and did not endorse any candidates.
From the outset, Catsimatidis’ bid was as a darkhorse. He tried to convince voters that his business experience – “I made $3 billion. What did they do?” – was his mantra, was enough to overcome his lack of experience in public office. He emerged as a shoot-from-the-hip campaigner who said what he thought in defiance of traditional political style where candidates try to avoid any kind of controversial statements.
He went at Lhota, a former Metropolitan Transit Authority Chairman, aggressively and blistered him for calling transit police “mall cops,” but his campaign failed to resonate outside his core of Greek-American voters and he was trounced in Manhattan.
Although the above results cover 98% of precincts, the changes to follow won’t change the candidates final positions.