All four members of the tiny Republican caucus in New York’s city council declared their backing for Joseph Lhota, a former Giuliani administration official who is facing tough headwind from a billionaire supermarket magnate.
Councilman Eric Ulrich of Queens had some harsh words for John Catsimatidis, who has received the support of all four Republican borough leaders to replace Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
“He’s a buffoon — and he will never get elected mayor in New York,” Ulrich said, according to the Daily News. “The people who are telling him he can get elected are all on his payroll, and he needs to get out of the race — ASAP.”
“If [Catsimatidis] cares about the future of New York City and if he’s a true Republican like he says, and not a ‘Clinton Democrat,’ [he] should support the only guy who really has a shot [in November], and that’s Joe Lhota.”
The four councilmen, which include James Oddo of Staten Island, Dan Halloran of Queens and Vincent Ignizio of Brooklyn, will hold a press conference on Wednesday to make their official endorsement.
Catsimatidis, who has framed himself as the lone Republican with enough Democratic appeal and cash to overcome the Democratic nominee in the general election, laughed off Ulrich’s broadside.
“Ha,” the Greek-born Catsimatidis wrote in an email. “Let’s see who is going to be last man standing.”
Lhota has raised more than $700,000 in under two months after joining the GOP fight.
Catsimatidis, whose estimated worth exceeds $3 billion, has said he’s ready to pour $1 million a month into his campaign.