Former deputy mayor and MTA Chair Joe Lhota decisively beat back his billionaire opponent tonight in the Republican mayoral primary, despite the onslaught of millions of dollars worth of negative mailings and television ads.
Though he’d called John Catsimatidis’s ads “amazingly disgusting” earlier today and seemed to have little patience for another challenger, Doe Fund founder George McDonald, Mr. Lhota offer an olive branch to both of his opponents in a victory speech delivered to cheering supporters at a Midtown hotel.
His dream of being the next billionaire mayor of New York City is officially over.
John Catsimatidis, the owner of the Gristedes supermarket chain, took to the stage of the Roosevelt Hotel tonight to concede his loss in the Republican primary following returns that made it clear he had lost to Joe Lhota.
“I want to apologize to my staff that I didn’t do better and win this thing for all of you,” Mr. Catsimatidis said, mournfully.
“We’ll never be disappointed!” some in the crowd shouted. “Never!”
John Catsimatidis disembarked from his Election Day “Catsimatidis Express” tour bus today in Brooklyn, only to hit a sudden halt minutes later.
Mr. Catsimatidis, who is battling it out with Republican rival Joe Lhota in today’s mayoral primary, emerged from his ride this afternoon with an entourage that included his daughter, local Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis and several reporters. But as he walked into a Bay Ridge polling site inside of a school building–treacherous ground for candidates–he encountered several people who very much wanted the billionaire businessman to scram.
“You really shouldn’t be around here,” complained one poll worker as Mr. Catsimatidis glad-handed with voters.
Last Saturday night, the Supersuckers, the self-proclaimed “Greatest Rock ‘n’ Roll Band in the World,” jammed at The Bell House, a Brooklyn concert hall, along with DJ Bubba Guitar and Hellbound Glory.
Tonight, at the same spot, it’ll be Bill de Blasio.
The various campaigns for mayor are getting ready to party down after the polls close at 9 p.m., and while Mr. de Blasio–the front-runner in the Democratic primary–seems likely to have the most to celebrate tonight, the other candidates are also planning events.
Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani joined the campaign trail today, making a final push for his former deputy mayor, Joe Lhota, and threatening doom and gloom if a Democrat is elected in November.
Standing in Mr. Lhota’s campaign headquarters near Grand Central station this morning, Mr. Giuliani praised Mr. Lhota as the only candidate qualified to be mayor, comparing the current Democratic field to former Public Advocate Mark Green, who would have taken over if anything had happened to him when he was mayor.