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Monday, January 28, 2013

City Republican Chairmen 'Almost' Behind Billioniare Catsimatidis

Former Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrión’s mayoral candidacy is in jeopardy, since he has failed to secure the support of three of the city’s five Republican county chairmen, the WSJ reported on Friday. 

The two GOP chairmen that have previously committed themselves to Mr. Carrión, Brooklyn’s Craig Eaton and Jay Savino of the Bronx, have now privately shifted their support to Republican grocery billionaire John Catsimatidis, Chris Bragg reports in The insider. “Almost everyone is with John, it’s just not official yet,” one Republican insider told Bragg. 

While the city’s five Republican county chairmen have repeatedly said they hoped to unite behind a single candidate, it’s unclear whether Staten Island Republican chairman Robert Scamardella would follow suit. Mr. Scamardella has publicly said he is leaning towards supporting former MTA chairman Joseph Lhota. 

The only difference between Lhota and Catsimatidis is:  $3 billion, which could become a major factor in lining up further institutional support. If the choice is between two middle-aged, white males (and a Latino candidate like Mr. Carrión who could have some crossover appeal), going with the deeper pocketbook would make sense, said another GOP insider. “Lhota’s the most qualified, but even if he raised $20 million, he’d still need to raise $40 million more,” the GOP insider said. “John could just cash a check. And he’s also been [financially] supportive of [the chairmen] over the years.” 

Brooklyn Chairman Craig. Eaton told The Insider he was still waiting for the Brooklyn Republican Party to screen Mr. Lhota, Mr. Catsimatidis, and another candidate, Rev. A.R. Bernard, in the coming weeks. 

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