By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
As the mayoral campaign heads into high gear, Republican candidates John Catsimatidis and Joe Lhota have both been spending a lot of time courting voters in southern Brooklyn in recent days.
With six weeks to go before the Sept. 10 primary, Catsimatidis and Lhota are pulling out all the stops in an attempt to entice GOP voters in the southern end of the borough.
On June 29th, Catsimatidis held a ribbon cutting ceremony to mark the grand opening of his new campaign office in Bay Ridge. The Bay Ridge campaign headquarters, at 8319 Third Ave., is the eighth office the billionaire supermarket mogul has opened in the city and second in Brooklyn, according to his campaign.
The candidate was joined at the ribbon cutting by his wife Margo Catsimatidis and by Brooklyn Republican Party Chairman Craig Eaton and Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis (R-C-Bay Ridge-Staten Island), both of whom have endorsed his bid for mayor.
Malliotakis said opening up a campaign office in Bay Ridge is a smart move by Catsimatidis. “It makes good political sense. The largest percentages of Republicans in the city are in southern Brooklyn,” she told the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.
“It shows the attention John has given to out community in this campaign. He has talked about the issues that matter to the people of our community; the B37 bus, property taxes, high water bills, the high tolls on the Verrazano Bridge. It shows that Brooklyn will get his full attention when he becomes mayor,” Malliotakis said.
Meanwhile, Lhota, the former chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, was also trying to woo southern Brooklyn voters over the weekend. He was the guest of honor at a barbeque hosted by the Brooklyn South Conservative Club at MCU Park in Coney Island prior to the Brooklyn Cyclones game on July 28.
Lhota and GOP City Council John Quaglione, David Storobin, Anthony Testaverde, and Andy Sullivan greeted supporters at the barbeque.
Lhota has been endorsed by the New York State Conservative Party, ensuring that he will have at least one spot on the ballot in the general election in November, regardless of what happens in the September primary.