It’s getting crowded.
The Republican race for the mayor’s office tallied another candidate on Tuesday when John A. Catsimatidis announced he was running for the hotly contested position.
Catsimatidis, owner, president and CEO of grocery chain Red Apple Group, parent company of Gristedes, announced his candidacy on the steps of City Hall and promised to represent all New Yorkers, in every borough, if elected. His platform is based on strengthening the school system, better public safety and tax relief for the middle class.
“I want to be a mayor for all the neighborhoods of our great city,” he said in a campaign statement. “For Richmond Hill and Flushing, for Canarsie and Williamsbridge, for Harlem and for Wall Street for Riverdale and Throgs Neck and for Tottenville and New Dorp. I want to be a mayor who fairly represents all New Yorkers whether you are a cab driver from South Asia, a bodega owner from the Caribbean or an aspiring actor from the Midwest.”
The produce magnate is one of the few candidates from either party who has not spent the bulk of his career in public service. His main Republican opponent, former MTA chair Joe Lhota, was a budget director and then deputy mayor for former Mayor Rudoplh Guiliani. He’s also facing philanthropist George McDonald, chair of the homeless aid group, The Doe Fund.
“Unlike many of my opponents are who professional politicians and products of the cronyism of the political club house,” Catsimatidis said, “I come to this race as an independent businessman who will offer commonsense solutions to the problems that affect New York.”
Catsimatidis, 64, has a net worth of $3 billion as of last September, according to Forbes, and is ranked 132 in the magazine’s list of the 400 richest Americans.
Queens Republican chair Phil Ragusa said while the party has not officially endorsed a candidate, Catsimatidis has had support in the party based on his initiative to create jobs and fight for residents’ rights.
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