Staten Island’s Republican Party may be in turmoil, but GOP mayoral hopeful Joe Lhota said he’s confident he’ll still win them over.
“I am,” Mr. Lhota said yesterday at the Brooklyn Young Republican Club when asked about his confidence in earning the entity’s support. “I am very comfortable in my position with the leadership on Staten Island.”
The previous head of the Staten Island GOP, Bob Scamardella, said he’d probably endorse Mr. Lhota but surprisingly stepped down at the end of February. Though the party has been plagued by infighting, it appears they have settled on a new leader: former community board chairman John Antoniello. According to the Staten Island Advance, Mr. Antoniello was an ally of disgraced former Congressman Vito Fossella, who endorsed one of Mr. Lhota’s rivals, billionaire John Catsimatidis, for mayor. Mr. Lhota said he was unconcerned by the development.
“I’m not bothered by it at all,” he said, declining to elaborate further. “I will win in the primary in September. I will have more than enough support on Staten Island.”
If the Staten Island Republican Party backs either Mr. Lhota or Mr. Catsimatidis, former Democrat and Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrión will likely be unable to run as a Republican for mayor, as he is seeking to do. He has secured the support of two counties, but needs a third and Staten Island is the only uncommitted borough organization in the race. Mr. Carrión has vowed to run for mayor on the Independence Party’s ballot position regardless.