Photo: MTA / Creative Commons
The chances that former MTA head Joe Lhota will become the next Mayor of New York City seem small right now, but some of NYC’s wealthiest are throwing their money behind him anyway, the NYT reports.Lhota, who also served in the Giuliani administration, is entering a crowded field in this race. On the Republican side, he faces billionaire CEO of Gristedes supermarket, John Catsimatidis, who has promised to deploy his fortune for the campaign.
The Democratic side is stacked with veterans — former Comptroller Bill Thompson (who took on Bloomberg in 2009), Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, and powerhouse fundraiser and City Council Speaker, Christine Quinn.
That isn’t scaring some big names (and wallets) away from Lhota, though. Ken Langone, the billionaire founder of Home Depot, is one of them.
Kenneth G. Langone, the billionaire co-founder of Home Depot, has pledged his financial backing. Peter S. Kalikow, the real estate investor, has cut a big check. And James S. Tisch, the chief executive of the Loews Corporation, is on board…
Mr. Langone, a prodigious Republican donor, is even entertaining the possibility of an independent political action committee, unbound by spending limits, devoted to electing Mr. Lhota. “All I know is that Joe is not going to want for money,” he said in an interview.
Mr. Langone, who raised millions of dollars for Mr. Romney, said, “I plan to do everything I can to help Joe Lhota get elected, as long as it’s ethical and as long as it’s legal.” He called Mr. Lhota “a superb manager.”…
“I worry a lot about the fiscal health of New York City,” said Mr. Tisch, the head of Loews and an invitee to the Lhota breakfast. “As I look around at the group of people running for mayor, the person I think has the best capacity of dealing with these issues is Joe.”
It’s important to keep in mind that NYC isn’t a Republican town. Even if Lhota manages to win the Republican nomination, that doesn’t mean every GOP donor will rally around him because victory could still be a long shot.
Christine Quinn has bagged some big former Romney donors like Randy Levine, the President of the New York Yankees, and Ron Perelman the chairman of Revlon.