It's official: Republican Joe Lhota is running for mayor. Lhota filed the paperwork necessary to formalize his candidacy on Thursday. “It’s official. Joe Lhota is a candidate to be the 109th mayor of New York City,” Lhota tweeted about 10 a.m.
“Since I left my position as chairman and CEO of the MTA just two weeks ago, I’ve been asked over and over, 'Joe, why do you want to be the mayor of New York City?,’” Lhota said in a “From Joe” message on his Web site.
“I understand that a lot of politicians will come up with a slick, scripted answer, but my answer is a lot like me: direct and straightforward. I love this city – I love its diversity and optimism, and the opportunity it represents. But the very things I love about New York City are fragile and must be protected,” Lhota said. “In the upcoming weeks and months I look forward to discussing the issues that matter most to you and our fellow New Yorkers and how together we can continue to see New York City thrive.”
Lhota told the Staten Island Advance in a phone interview that he is "committed to winning a Republican primary if one is necessary" and "committed to being the next mayor." Lhota said that as mayor he would focus on jobs, education and economic development, with an eye toward making things easier for small businesses by reducing regulatory red tape.
He said he would also continue crime-fighting policies begun under Giuliani and continued under Mayor Michael Bloomberg.