These days, John Catsimatidis’ name is most often associated with Richard Lipsky, the indicted lobbyist whom he employed to work on behalf of his company, The Red Apple Group.
But the supermarket magnate, who took a pass on a 2009 run for mayor when Mike Bloomberg extended term limits, said in an interview today that he has not yet closed the door on a political career.
“I’ve got mixed emotions about it now,” he said. “Right now I am going to observe and see what is going on.”
If he ran, Catsimatidis said he would highlight a city and a state that, as far as he is concerned, is forsaking business leaders.
“What I think we need is a mayor who is going to be pro-business, and we don’t need a mayor who is going to say, ‘Let’s kick out the rich, let’s tax the rich,'” he said. “We don’t need people that are trying to kill the people that create good jobs.”
He added, “The top two percent of the population are the ones that create good jobs. That two percent is under attack like we are the enemy.”
Catsimatidis acknowledged that it would be difficult for a Republican to win again in New York City, and said that he would make a decision by the end of the year.
As Maggie Haberman noted, Catsimatidis met recently with national G.O.P. chairman Reince Priebus. He said the two did not discuss local politics.
At times, he sounded like someone running for governor, rather than mayor.
“Look at New York State: we are 50th in job growth. Considering the taxes and the union situation, what CEO do you know that is sitting around a board room saying, ‘We should open up a factory up in New York State.’ Most likely the rest of the board will laugh at him.”
When it was pointed out to him that this sounded much more like someone interested in a state job, Catsimatidis responded, “Hey, you’ve got to start somewhere.”