What happens when a Republican, a Democrat, an Independent and a Liberal enter a room together? It's a Republican mayoral debate. At least that was the impression of the first GOP mayoral debate hosted by Crains New York business in Manhattan Wednesday morning.
Three of the five candidates participating at the candidate forum are former Democrats who are seeking the Republican nomination; the other describes himself as a 'Clinton Democrat' or rather a 'Republicat' in short. Joe Lhota was the only pure Republican in the room; thus that was heart of the discussion - whether a pure Republican can win a mayoral contest in NYC.
The five presumed Republican candidates, vying for the position of mayor of NYC, debated a host economic and business related issues, including their chances, winning formula, and each and others advantages, to beat the Democratic nominee in a D-dominated city.
Catsimatidis used his fortune as an advantage of winning the race.: "It's all about winning... A pure Republican cannot win" in D-dominated NYC," he said.
Tom Allon, who recently changed his registration from being a Democrat to Republican and who also has lined up the Liberal party's slot, used a line of his own to tout his credibility. "We need a fusion candidate to beat the Democrats," Allon said.
Joe Lhota, who needs more than just a debate to convince he stands a chance winning as a Republican, gave himself a social liberal badge to win over Democratic voters. "We need to be fiscally conservative, we need to try new ideas, we need to be socially progressive,' he said.
Crain's New York Business asked attendees to text in their reactions to the debate, reports Dana Rubenstein. Sixty-three percent said Lhota stood the best chance of winning the election. Twenty percent said Catsimatidis did, and ten percent said McDonald did, with Allon and Carrion in the "single digits." Asked who won the debate, Lhota got 42 percent, Catsimatidis 26 percent, Allon and Carrion 12 percent, and McDonald eight percent.
NYGOP Chair Ed Cox today released the following statement on the Crain's Mayoral Candidate Forum:
"This morning was a reminder that next year, just like the last twenty years, New Yorkers will have a Mayor elected on the Republican line.
"While our candidates represent a wide range of views, each promoted our Republican goals of a prosperous New York with a growing economy and a government that encourages small business, eases regulatory and tax burdens and promotes education reform, equal opportunity and individual responsibility."All five of our candidates addressed the needs and aspirations of the people of New York City - not the special interests that drive the Democratic candidates."