Republican State Senator Frank Padavan said he’s confident that his party will ultimately allow Michael Bloomberg to run for re-election on their line, despite resentment about the mayor leaving the party last year.
"At the end of the day, after you go back and forth on the politics and the feelings and everyone's personal proclivities, you get down to the bottom line and the bottom line is, what's the best for the city of New York," Padavan said. "And right now, it's him."
Padavan said Bloomberg’s departure from the Republican Party last year will not be an insurmountable obstacle to getting Republicans to allow the mayor to run in a Republican primary.
Bloomberg is scheduled to meet Republican county chairman on February 25 as he seeks a major party line for his re-election.
“I think the answer is you have to be very pragmatic,” said Padavan, who is supporting Bloomberg. “The city, the state and the nation are going through a very difficult time in terms of economics problems left and right. You need someone who has the experience, the background and the track record to be able to deal with those kind of issues, as he did in the aftermath of 2001.”
After a brief pause, Padavan said, “I don’t know anyone out there in either party–any candidate–who has that capacity.”
When I asked about billionaire John Catsimatidis, who was openly courting the party even as Bloomberg was running away from it, Padavan said he has the “business acumen,” but not the governmental experience, that Bloomberg does.
“That’s no fault of his; just a matter of fact," Padavan said. "It’s not a criticism. I mean, he’s a very nice man."
“I heard him say one day that he wanted to be Bloomberg’s third term,” said Padavan, laughing.
“Bloomberg wants to be Bloomberg’s third term.”