MTA Chair Lhota Resigns, May Run for NYC Mayor

by Jeff Coltin
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MTA Chairman Joe Lhota pointing down a subway track

Patrick Cashin / Metropolitan Transportation Authority

Former Deputy Mayor would run as Republican.

 

MTA Chairman and CEO Joe Lhota has confirmed he will step down at the end of the year to explore a run for New York City Mayor. Lhota has led the transportation agency since October of last year. He previously served as a Deputy Mayor under Rudy Giuliani and would run for Mayor as a Republican.

The Republican's profile received a big boost last month for his agency's response to Superstorm Sandy. Doug Muzzio, Professor of Public Affairs at Baruch College says Lhota's name would be a big addition to the Republican field as it stands. "What you have are a number of presumptively Republican candidates, none of whom have the-in a sense-the weight of a Joe Lhota."

Muzzio says Lhota will make an impact on the race, but faces an uphill battle if he wants to get elected. "It's early, anything can happen. If I were going to bet right now, I'd still bet a Democrat over Joe Lhota for a variety of reasons, but clearly it's going to shake up the race." 

The ballot is slowly getting filled for the 2013 mayoral election.  Billionaire grocer John Catsimatidis and former Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrión Jr. could vie with Lhota for the Republican nomination. Leading Democrats considering runs are City Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, City Comptroller John Liu, and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn.

Lhota says he will announce if he is going to run in early January.

 

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