Nicole Malliotakis sought to take back the momentum in the Republican mayoral primary last night as she received the endorsement of her hometown Staten Island Republican Party, hoping to replace Masseymentum with Malliomentum. Rival candidate Paul Massey had received the endorsement of the Bronx Republican Party the night before, for his second county organization endorsement. Staten Island’s endorsement of Malliotakis was not a surprise, she’s a well-liked four term elected official, but it was nonetheless a welcome boost for Malliotakis.
A crowd of about 75 people gathered for the Staten Island party’s nominating convention, enthusiastically cheering their nominees. Incumbent Borough President Jimmy Oddo and incumbent City Council Members Steve Matteo and Joe Borelli were among the nominees, each unanimously selected without any opposing candidates. Michel Faulkner, who was not present, was endorsed for comptroller, also without opposition. As reported by the Staten Island Advance’s Rachel Shapiro, (prior to my arrival) the Party endorsed J.C. Polanco for public advocate.
Malliotakis’s acceptance speech was a mix of campaign themes and a hometown address to fellow Staten Islanders. She turned to a recent campaign theme, describing New Yorkers driven to leave the city as “economic refugees” and “quality of life refugees.” Malliotakis also touched on familiar criticisms of Mayor de Blasio, saying that he “ties the hands of law enforcement” and ignores the will of City residents in areas such as his plan to build 90 shelters for the homeless and his newly adopted goal of replacing Rikers Island with jails throughout the City.
Malliotakis voiced a central theme of Staten Island politics; that the borough is shortchanged and “we have to fight together twice as much to get half as much.” She criticized the mayor’s “five borough ferry plan” for excluding Staten Island, and said that the only thing Staten Island does get a fair share of is unwanted traffic cameras.
Malliotakis closed with promise to “bring a message of common sense and sanity” to the City and City Hall.
Here’s Malliotakis’s full acceptance speech: