Following a week long visits to the island, Republican Mayoral hopeful Joe Lhota got the long awaited backing from the Staten Island Republican Party executive committee on Monday night, Tom Wrobleski reports in the Staten Island Advance.
The committee interviewed Lhota and GOP rival John Catsimatidis before making its pick. According to the Advance, Lhota received 26 of the 29 committee votes. GOP chairman John Antoniello said that Lhota, a deputy mayor under Rudolph Giuliani and former head of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, was better-equipped to lead the city. "Both candidates presented themselves extremely well," Antoniello said, but Lhota displayed "a much better understanding of how city government works."
"He definitely has a world of experience," Antoniello said. "And he has the personality for the job."
Lhota said he was "very proud" to get the panel's backing. "These are the same people who allowed Rudy Giuliani to become mayor and George Pataki to become governor," he said. "I'm humbled to be in their league."