By Mark Hallum
Paul Massey, a mayoral hopeful for the GOP, threw in the towel on his campaign Wednesday citing the financial challenge of facing an incumbent as his reasons.
The announcement comes a week after Massey endorsed fellow Republican and former NYPD captain, Joseph Concannon, who is taking on Councilman Barry Grodenchik (D-Oakland Gardens) in the upcoming election.
Concannon ran against the incumbent’s predecessor, Mark Weprin, in 2013.
The Boston real estate executive touted plans for redesigning parks above city highways and claimed to emulate former Mayor Michael Bloomberg in his approach for solving some of the issues in the city. Education and housing were some aspects of government Massey hoped to address as mayor.
“As I have in the past, I intend to involve myself in community and not-for-profit organizations in New York City, especially in education, which is my passion. New York certainly hasn’t heard the last from me,” Massey said in a statement posted to Twitter. “Unfortunately, the cost of running for office is extraordinary, and I do not see a path to raising the necessary funds to beat an incumbent mayor.”
Bo Dietl, a mayoral candidate running on the Independent ticket, issued a statement of respect for Massey and the contribution he has made to the discourse involving city government.
“We are deeply grateful to Paul Massey for the effort he put into the mayoral campaign,” Dietl said. “He raised important issues, and was genuine in his concern about the terrible direction of this city under de Blasio. We have tremendous respect for him, and we wish him and his family all the best.”
Massey recognized Concannon’s work through the years, while the two discussed mayoral control of city schools, before handing him the endorsement at PS 191 in Floral Park June 21.
“Joe is a retired NYPD captain and former adviser to Mayor Rudy Giuliani, and I can think of no person I’d rather have in the City Council and working with my administration,” Massey said. “Together we will keep New York families safe, ensure every child has an opportunity for a quality education, and bring integrity and a strong work ethic back to City Hall. He will serve the people of northeast Queens proudly and well. I look forward to celebrating with Joe after election day and getting to work for the people of New York, in January.”
Massey is a real estate executive from Boston who has been making the rounds with Republicans around Queens. He earned an endorsement from the Queens Village Republican Club, an organization that includes Concannon.
“Mayoral control of our schools is important, and under a different administration I could see extending control, but neither the City Council nor Mayor Bill de Blasio have shown the type of fiscal restraint expected of the city’s chief fiscal manager,” Concannon said.
The mayoral candidate planned to take on de Blasio in the general election as other GOPers have decided not to enter the upcoming Republican primary, including Gristedes CEO John Catsimatidis and Councilman Eric Ulrich (Ozone Park), who cited the standing mayor being cleared in series of probes as his reason for walking away.
Catsimatidis mentioned the difficulty of taking on the power of an incumbent as his reason for bowing out after a discussion with his family. He was defeated in the 2013 GOP mayoral primary.
Massey was a speaker at the Queens Village Republican Club’s annual Lincoln Dinner in March. Prior to that, he discussed his platform at a meeting for the same organization, which touts its legacy as one of the oldest Republican clubs in the nation.
The mayoral primaries are to take place in September.
Reach reporter Mark Hallum by e-mail at mhall