Category Archives: 2017 Mayoral Race

Faulkner Moves To Comptroller Race (Updated)



The man formerly known as Republican mayoral candidate Michel Faulkner is now Republican comptroller candidate Michel Faulkner.  Faulkner, who’s been running hard for mayor, announced today that he’s changing his focus and running for comptroller.

Paul Massey has long sought to convince Faulkner to get out of the race, and Faulkner has spoken about that in some recent appearances.  In a brief phone conversation today Faulkner expressed optimism at his prospects, but declined to discuss his decision in detail.  Faulkner plans a significant media rollout of his candidacy tomorrow.  Stay with us for more.

Manhattan Republican leader Adele Malpass confirmed that she and the other Republican county leaders support Faulkner’s move.  Malpass has frequently expressed her preference for avoiding Republican primaries in the three City-wide races.  She and Faulkner both expect that Faulkner will not have a primary in the comptroller’s race.  On the mayor’s race, Malpass and the Manhattan Republican Party executive committee plan to meet on May 15th to consider backing a mayoral candidate, now selecting between Paul Massey and Nicole MalliotakisContinue reading Faulkner Moves To Comptroller Race (Updated)

Malliotakis Kickoff



Republican mayoral candidate Nicole Malliotakis held a campaign kickoff press conference Friday at City Hall.  Malliotakis became a candidate and began campaigning about two weeks ago, so the news in her appearance comes from her comments rather the fact of her candidacy.

In her fourth term in the New York State Assembly, and one of only seven New York City Republicans holding city or state office,  Malliotakis is fairly well-known to New York City Republicans.  She’s a fairly late entry in the race, but with an established Staten Island electoral base and a fair amount of name recognition among City Republicans she’s an immediately viable candidate.

Malliotakis fielded a wide range of press questions, covering her candidacy and prospects and rival Paul Massey, City policing and crime, her recent condemnation of Linda Sarsour, the American Health Care Act, Mayor de Blasio and her position on continuing to allow carriage horses to operate.

Video:

Opening statement:

Q&A:

Malliotakis & Massey Mix It Up, Moderately



Republican mayoral candidates Nicole Malliotakis and Paul Massey mixed it up a bit Thursday, with Massey issuing a statement critical of Malliotakis for receiving campaign contributions from Linda Sarsour.  Malliotakis has recently criticized Sarsour, a Palestinian-American political activist, and demanded that CUNY rescind an invitation to Sarsour to speak at commencement.  State Board of Election records show that Sarsour gave Malliotakis two contributions of $150 each, one in 2011 and one in 2012.

Malliotakis dismissed Massey’s criticism, suggesting that “he should be focusing on actually proposing something for the voters.”

Malliotakis on ConCon



“I’m actually very torn on it.”  That’s Republican mayoral candidate Nicole Malliotakis on whether she supports holding a New York State constitutional convention.

The 2017 general election will present voters with a ballot question of whether to hold such a constitutional convention, often referred to as a “ConCon.” The state constitution requires that voters be presented with such a ballot question every 20 years; it was voted down in 1997 and 1977. Should voters approve a ConCon, convention delegates would be elected in the 2018 general election and the convention would convene in the spring of 2019.

Malliotakis, who is her fourth term in the state Assembly, described potential positives from a convention as including reducing the power of the Assembly speaker, legislative term limits and more equitable treatment of legislators.  She expressed concerns about stripping or reductions of public employee pensions.  Malliotakis is, for a Republican elected official, unusually supportive of public employees and public sector unions.

Here’s what Malliotakis had to say:

Update – September Statement:

Malliotakis’ statement taking a position is available here.

Malliotakis On AHCA



“I don’t know because I haven’t read it.”  That was Republican mayoral candidate and Assembly Member Nicole Malliotakis’ final answer when asked whether she supports the American Health Care Act, approved Thursday by the House of Representatives.  Malliotakis expressed general support for a replacement of the Affordable Care Act while emphasizing the importance of considering the precise terms of any proposed legislation.  The AHCA text was released only the night before the House voted and few if any members had actually read it.  I spoke with Malliotakis following her appearance Thursday night at the Metropolitan Republican Club.

Here’s what Malliotakis had to say:

Candidates Court Conservatives (Updated)



Queens County Conservative Party Chairman Tom Long listens as mayoral candidate Paul Massey speaks to Long’s members. 4/28/17

Mayoral candidates Bo Dietl, Michel Faulkner and Paul Massey appeared in Howard Beach Thursday night, courting support at the Queens County Conservative Party Spring Dinner.  The Conservative Party will select its mayoral candidate shortly, with the  individual county organizations commencing discussions this week and a final selection expected by the end of May.  Their appearances and quest for the Conservative Party nomination had an additional subplot; Dietl’s controversial remarks on Mayor de Blasio’s wife the night before, Massey’s statement condemning those remarks and Dietl’s demand for an apology from Massey.  Assembly Member Nicole Malliotakis is also seeking the Conservative Party nomination, but did not attend this dinner.

Bo Dietl addresses the Queens County Conservative Party Dinner. The audience includes rival candidates Paul Massey (far left) and Michel Faulkner (center, blue tie). 4/28/17

Continue reading Candidates Court Conservatives (Updated)

They Can’t Control The Bo



“They can’t control the Bo” said Bo himself, speaking today at a press conference on 34th Street, answering his own question of why “they” do not want him to run for mayor.  Bo Dietl continues trying to extinguish the firestorm that erupted following his Wednesday night comment that a judge who heard his lawsuit against the Board of Elections “looked like Charlene de Blasio (sic) and as soon as I saw her … I knew I had a problem.”  He made a similar mea culpa last night at a Conservative Party dinner in Howard Beach.

Dietl began his press conference by reading a lengthy statement denying that he is a racist, recounting his humble origins and work as an NYPD detective, touting his business success and attacking the New York Post and the New York Daily News.  The Post editorial board has called for Dietl to drop out of the race and a Daily News columnist has been harshly critical of Dietl.  Dietl unambiguously asserted that he’ll stay in race through November, even if he does not get a Wilson-Pakula allowing him to run in the Republican primary.

Continue reading They Can’t Control The Bo

Hashing It Out



Bo Dietl and Paul Massey discuss Dietl’s comments, during the Queens County Conservative Party Dinner on April 27, 2017.

Three of the four Republican mayoral candidates appeared together Thursday night, with Bo Dietl seeking to address the contretemps generated by his Wednesday night comment equating two African-American women, Chirlane McCray, Mayor Bill de Blasio’s wife, and a judge hearing Dietl’s election related lawsuit, based on their physical appearance.  Dietl has faced significant criticism in the 24 hours since making his comment.  The episode may drive voters away from him, although it anecdotally appears at this early stage Republican voters are only moderately concerned about.  More immediately, and more significantly, it may push Republican leaders away from granting Dietl his sought-after waiver to run in the Republican primary, a Wilson-Pakula. Continue reading Hashing It Out

Friend Friction



Republican mayoral rivals Michel Faulkner and Paul Massey have often proclaimed their affection for one another, but Faulkner has been increasingly critical of Massey.  At the Manhattan Republican Party mayoral candidate forum last night Faulkner had some harsh comments about Massey.

Massey started the evening with a kind word for Faulkner and Bo Dietl, saying “it’s been great getting to know you” and “developing a friendship with you.”

Continue reading Friend Friction

Republicans Rassle



It was a Republican wrestling match as four candidates seeking the Republican nomination for mayor came together last night, participating in a forum hosted by the Manhattan Republican Party at the Upper East Side’s Metropolitan Republican Club.  Smiling, joking and mostly making nice, they harshly attacked Mayor Bill de Blasio as the four engaged in their first group forum.  They threw a few barbs at each other, and one managed to draw harsh condemnation afterwards for a comment involving Mayor de Blasio’s wife, but they mostly tried to push past each other as they sought audience and press attention.

Michel Faulkner, Nicole Malliotakis and Paul Massey are Republicans seeking their party’s nomination while Bo Dietl is a former Republican seeking a party waiver to run in the Republican primary.  The forum was important for all four, but especially critical for Dietl as he seeks a Wilson-Pakula; dispensation from at least three of the GOP county chairs to run in the Republican primary.  All five were present, part of an overcapacity crowd and large press contingent.

Video:

Here is the full forum, including the introductory remarks of Manhattan GOP Chairwoman Adele Malpass:

Dietl & McCray (Updated)



Mayoral candidate Bo Dietl provoked outrage last night with a seemingly offhand comment at the Manhattan Republican Party’s mayoral candidate forum.  Dietl, who muffed an attempt last year at shifting his party registration from Republican to Democratic and is now seeking Republican Party permission to run as a Republican despite not being currently registered as a Republican, filed a lawsuit against the Board of Elections.  As he tried to explain the saga during his closing comments last night, Dietl blamed “de Blasio’s tentacles” as responsible for the adverse Board of Elections ruling.  Of the judge who heard his lawsuit Dietl said “the judge looked like Charlene de Blasio (sic) and as soon as I saw her … I knew I had a problem.”

Here is Dietl’s closing statement:

Speaking with reporters afterwards, and here responding to Politico’s Azi Paybarah, Dietl defended his comment:

Update – Faulkner:

Michel Faulkner was asked (by Politico’s Azi Paybarah) about Dietl’s comment during a post-forum press Q&A, terming it “offensive” and “could be borderline racist.”  Faulkner nonetheless unambiguously expressed affection for Dietl, concluding his remarks by saying “put that down, make sure you say ‘I love Bo.'”  The brief exchange also featured a interruption by a Dietl staffer, which Faulkner brushed aside.

I Am That Messenger



The New York City Republican Party has had “the right message but for years we have not had a messenger who could deliver it to allll the communities.  I’m telling you, right now, I am that messenger.”  That was at the core of Republican mayoral candidate Michel Faulkner’s pitch to the Queens Village Republican Club in a recent visit.  Faulkner’s fiery speech drew a standing ovation, far exceeding rival Paul Massey’s reception the prior month, although enthusiasm waned as he dealt with audience questions.

Faulkner does differ from most New York Republican candidates.  He’s a Baptist minister and African-American who cites Jerry Falwell Sr. as a “political mentor [and] spiritual father.”  Low on money but high on energy, the 6’4″ Faulkner’s religious roots infuse his appearances as he preaches politics.  He’s fluid at the mic, quickly revving up as he attacks Bill de Blasio with his energy filling the room.  He’s spotty on many issues, however, often displaying a lack of  significant depth on specific topics.  Continue reading I Am That Messenger