"Many of you don't look old enough to remember what the city was like 20 years ago," Mayoral candidate Joe Lhota told a small gathering of young Brooklyn Republicans on Sunday. "The changes that have been made since then in quality of life, in reduction in crime and what's happened all throughout the city have been nothing short of spectacular."
"Anybody who thinks that any of the advances that have been made in this city are permanent and lasting isn't being serious about it," Mr. Lhota said in an interview to WSJ. "Elected officials can reverse—not necessarily by design but because they have a different approach—all of the advances that have been made in the city over the last 20 years."
This seems to be the theme of Lhota's mayoral campaign. As a genuine Republican without the fortune of Mike Bloomberg, Lhota rests his mind in hope that his message of a fragile state of the city in terms of crime, education and economics, voters would be open to consider his candidacy, in fear of going back 20 years to the pre-Giuliani years.
"There is a strong feeling out there that things are fragile, that many accomplishments of the past few years can be diminished in some way by the wrong choice," George Arzt, a political consultant who served as press secretary for former Mayor Ed Koch, told Andrew Grossman for the WSJ. "If he can tap into that unease, that uncertainty that people have about life after Bloomberg, his message could resonate."