Brooklyn Republicans Split on Mayoral Endorsements

Nicole Malliotakis and John Catsimatidis (Photo: Twitter/@NMalliotakis)

Nicole Malliotakis and John Catsimatidis (Photo: Twitter/@NMalliotakis)

There are many different endorsements growing in Brooklyn.

Indeed, despite its 2.5 million residents, the city’s largest borough only has a handful of Republican elected officials and they all seem to be leaning in opposite directions when it comes to who the next mayor should be. State Senator Marty Golden endorsed Joe Lhota yesterday, Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis recently announced her support for John Catsimatidis, and Brooklyn GOP Chair Craig Eaton has been backing Adolfo Carrión for City Hall’s top job.

“I’ve known John for a number of years,” Ms. Malliotakis told Politicker this afternoon. “He’s somebody who has a business background. He has big ideas. He has common sense, which is all of the things we need to move the city forward. He’s come out to my district. He’s toured the Sandy devastation with me. He has a general interest in helping these people.”

The endorsement, announced last night over Twitter, doesn’t come as a complete surprise as Ms. Malliotakis and Mr. Catsimatidis, who both share Greek-American heritage, are longtime acquaintances. The two held a joint press conference last month to celebrate Mr. Catsimatidis’ $10,000 donation to a local nonprofit destroyed by Hurricane Sandy on the Staten Island part of her district.

For his part, Mr. Golden, the “dean of New York City’s Republican elected officials,” officially passed on his backing in the pages of the New York Post.

“I’m a Lhota guy. Joe Lhota is the only guy who has a chance to win,” Mr. Golden stated. “A lot of the elected leaders will go with Lhota. … There will be an endorsement across-the-board.”

Despite the dueling endorsements, both legislators had nothing but kind words to say about each other’s preferred mayor. Mr. Golden called Mr. Catsimatidis a “great guy” while Ms. Malliotakis told us Mr. Lhota was a “fine person.”

The third Republican elected official representing any part of the borough, Congressman Michael Grimm–whose district contains same Bay Ridge neighborhood as Ms. Malliotakis’ and Mr. Golden’s–has yet to endorse in the race.

Mr. Eaton indicated his support for Mr. Carrión some time ago, but as Mr. Carrión is not a registered Republican, he’ll need the backing of three of the five GOP county chairs in order to run in their party’s primary, a possibility that looks increasingly unlikely. Mr. Carrión has vowed to campaign in the general election on the Independence Party’s line regardless, however, and he may lose some of his Republican support if he runs directly against the GOP nominee.