By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Craig Eaton, the chairman of the Kings County Republican Party, has made his decision. He has endorsed billionaire supermarket mogul and first-time candidate John Catsimatidis for mayor. The Catsimatidis campaign announced the endorsement on April 9.
"Today, I am proud to endorse John Catsimatidis as the Republican candidate for mayor of New York City. John Catsimatidis will be a superior candidate for our Republican Party and for all New Yorker's who care about the future of our city,” Eaton, a lawyer who lives in Bay Ridge, said.
It has been a guessing game for months in GOP circles as to which candidate was going to receive Eaton’s endorsement, Catsimatidis, Adolfo Carrion, the former Bronx borough president, or Joe Lhota, the former Metropolitan Transportation Authority chairman. Lhota, who served as a deputy mayor in the Giuliani administration, has received the endorsement of former mayor Rudy Giuliani.
"My decision to endorse John does not lessen the respect I have for both Adolfo Carrion and Joe Lhota,” Eaton said. “Over the past several months Adolfo Carrion and I have developed a friendship which I hope will continue so that we can work together to broaden and grow the base of the Republican Party on a local, state and national level. I also have great respect for the contributions Joe Lhota has made to the city of New York under our great mayor Rudy Giuliani and in the years that have followed. The fact that we have had so many quality candidates seek our nomination has not made my decision easier, but their participation in the process will make our Republican Part stronger,” he said.
Catsimatidis trumped them both because of his business background, Eaton said. "John Catsimatidis has never forgotten his roots as a small businessman. He'll fight to rein in the high taxes and burdensome regulations that are breaking the back of businesses large and small throughout our five boroughs. Most importantly, John Catsimatidis is a job creator. He has created tens of thousands of good paying private sector jobs and as mayor I know he'll work hard to create the jobs hardworking New Yorkers need,” the Republican chairman said.
Catsimatidis, a Greek immigrant, has a heartwarming, rags-to-riches personal story that voters will like, Eaton predicted.
"John grew up in Harlem, attended our public schools and built a successful business career right here on the streets of our city. As an immigrant, John intuitively understands the problems and challenges that so many New Yorkers face,” Eaton said
Catsimatidis said he was pleased to have earned Eaton’s support in his quest for City Hall. "I am proud and grateful to receive the endorsement of Craig Eaton today. The Republicans of Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan will be the foundation I need to win the GOP nomination and lay the groundwork to become New York's next mayor," he said.