Bay Ridge lawmaker would try to challenge de Blasio
By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Assemblymember Nicole Malliotakis has taken Mayor Bill de Blasio to court. Now she is thinking of taking him on at the ballot box.
Malliotakis, who filed a lawsuit against the de Blasio administration over its policy of destroying the personal information that residents use to apply for IDNYC identification cards, confirmed to the Brooklyn Eagle on Wednesday that she is seriously considering running for mayor.
“Yes, I am thinking about it,” Malliotakis, a Republican-Conservative who represents the 64th Assembly District (Bay Ridge-Staten Island), told the Eagle.
Her decision could come within the next 10 days to two weeks, she said, adding that she is also looking to see if her friend, billionaire supermarket mogul John Catsimatidis, enters the race. “John and I are not looking to run against each other,” she said.
Catsimatidis, owner of the Gristedes Supermarket chain, ran for mayor in 2013, but lost the primary to Republican Joe Lhota.
Malliotakis would be the third Republican to enter the race for mayor. Real estate tycoon Paul Massey and Rev. Michel Faulkner, a former New York Jets player, are already busy on the campaign trail.
The Republican primary will take place on Sept. 12. The general election is Nov. 7.
Retired detective and TV personality Bo Dietl is running as an independent.
Malliotakis first won her Assembly seat in 2010 when she defeated Democratic incumbent Janele Hyer-Spencer and was re-elected in 2012, 2014 and 2016, each time with a larger margin of victory.
Bill de Blasio’s record as mayor leaves a lot to be desired, according to Malliotakis.
“This mayor’s policies are hurting this city,” she told the Eagle in a phone interview.
Sounding like a candidate, Malliotakis blasted the mayor’s plan to close Rikers Island and open small jails in the five boroughs and predicted that his proposal to establish 90 homeless shelters will be met with fierce opposition in every neighborhood in the city.
“We have rising property taxes. Water bills keep going up. The taxpayers are sick and tired of paying all of this money out and not getting results,” she said.
Malliotakis also accused de Blasio of being a spendthrift. “The city budget is $84 billion. That’s $14 billion, about 20 percent more than the budget we had under Bloomberg,” she said, referring to de Blasio’s predecessor, former Republican Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Bill de Blasio was elected mayor in 2013 and is running for his second term in office.
The mayor can claim a recent victory over Malliotakis.
Malliotakis and fellow Republican Asemblymember Ron Castorina Jr. (R-Staten Island) filed a lawsuit to try to prevent the de Blasio administration from destroying IDNYC records. But earlier this month, Hon. Phillip G. Minardo of the New York State Supreme Court ruled that the administration is within its rights to order personal records of IDNYC card holders like names, Social Security numbers and information on immigration status, to be destroyed.
“We intend to pursue further options to prevent the mayor's irresponsible actions that put all New Yorkers at risk,” Malliotakis said after the judge’s ruling was announced.
Malliotakis and Castorina had argued that the records of applicants should be stored for public safety purposes. The records should also be subject to Freedom of Information law (FOIL) requests.
The IDNYC cards are available to all New Yorkers, including undocumented immigrants.