Report: M.T.A Chairman Joe Lhota to Step Down to Make Mayoral Bid

(Photo: Getty)

(Photo: Getty)

The head of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Joe Lhota, looks like he’s serious about his rumored campaign for mayor in 2013.

According to multiple New York Times sources “with direct knowledge of his plans,” Mr. Lhota, a Republican who worked as a deputy mayor in the Giuliani administration, “is expected to resign on Friday and announce his candidacy for New York City mayor.”

Mr. Lhota received widespread praise for his handling of the M.T.A. in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, although apparently not enough to boost his political branding among the widespread public. In a November Quinnipiac poll, Mr. Lhota was destroyed when pitted against a generic Democratic.

However, with former Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s expected backing, Mr. Lhota is likely to be a force in the Republican primary, at the very least. Other likely GOP candidates include Manhattan Media C.E.O. Tom Allon, former Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrión, DOE Fund founder George McDonald and supermarket magnate John Catsimatidis.

The GOP field, which appeared sparse not that long ago, certainly seems to be getting crowded very quickly. But in a city where Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign took less than 20% of the vote, the eventual Republican nominee is guaranteed to have a steep  hill to climb.