By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
The New York State Conservative Party has endorsed former Metropolitan Transportation Authority chairman Joseph Lhota for mayor over his rival, billionaire supermarket mogul John Catsimatidis, it was announced on June 3.
Mike Long, a Bay Ridge resident who chairs the Conservative Party, announced the endorsement of Lhota at a press conference on the steps of City Hall. The endorsement ensures that Lhota, who served as a deputy mayor in the Giuliani Administration, will have a spot on the ballot in the November election, regardless of what takes place in the Republican Primary in September. Similarly, Catsimatidis will have a spot on the ballot even if he loses the GOP primary, thanks to an endorsement from the Liberal party.
Jerry Kassar, chairman of the Brooklyn Conservative Party, and Fran Vella-Marrone, the Brooklyn party’s vice chairman, were also on hand at the press conference.
In a statement released by Lhota’s campaign, Long praised the former MTA chairman as a candidate who will be able to get things done for New Yorkers.
“How the next mayor handles our budget and safety challenges will determine the direction of our city. Joe has spent his entire career managing complex organizations, while keeping costs under control and enhancing services,” Long stated “He is the only candidate in this race that voters can trust to meet these challenges and ensure our city continues to flourish,” Long stated.
“I’m honored to receive the endorsement of the Conservative Party. Sound fiscal policy, an accountable education system and keeping our streets safe from violent criminals are at the forefront of my candidacy,” Lhota said.
“New York City has made great strides over the past twenty years, and I will fight to strengthen that progress as the next mayor,” he said.
The New York Times reported that Long acknowledged that the party had some disagreements with Lhota on social issues, like same-sex marriage. But Long said that the election was about the city’s future and was too important to focus on just those issues.