The Conservative Party endorsed Nicole Malliotakis today, choosing her as their mayoral candidate over rival Paul Massey. We spoke with each of them tonight about that endorsement, Malliotakis as she arrived in Throggs Neck for a meeting of the Bronx Republican Party and Massey as he departed a town hall with the Queens Public Transit Committee in South Ozone Park. (Our pre-endorsement analysis outlining the process and outcome is here.)
Malliotakis unsurprisingly described herself as excited by the endorsement, noting that she’s run on the Conservative line in each of her four Assembly races. She characterized the selection as showing Republican voters that she’s “a principled person” who has advocated against increasing state debt and spending and limits on city spending, tossing in a swipe at Massey for having recently moved into the city and contributing to Mayor de Blasio’s 2013 campaign. Malliotakis said that she did not make any specific policy commitments to the Conservative Party as part of the endorsement and she said that she intends to run on the line even is she is not the Republican nominee.
Asked if he was surprised or disappointed by the endorsement Massey replied simply that he respects the Conservative Party’s decision, adding that he respects Malliotakis and her public service, before moving to criticizing Mayor de Blasio. Massey didn’t directly respond to a question of whether the Conservative Party endorsement may give Malliotakis an imprimatur of conservative bona fides which appeals to Republican primary voters, instead pitching himself as a “coalition-building candidate” and noting his endorsement by the Independence Party.
Video – Malliotakis & Massey:
Here’s what each candidate had to say: