I’m a huge Joe Lhota fan. That was about all Republican mayoral candidate Paul Massey had to say about Lhota endorsing rival candidate Nicole Malliotakis over Massey. Lhota, the 2013 Republican and Conservative Party mayoral candidate, issued a statement this afternoon endorsing Malliotakis shortly before a Massey press conference.
I asked Massey for his reaction to the Lhota endorsement, including Lhota’s reference to Malliotakis as “the only real Republican in the race,” and whether he had approached Lhota for an endorsement. His fairly lengthy answer included an attack on Bill de Blasio and touting his own candidacy, with only a brief complimentary mention of Lhota. Massey described himself as an “independent candidate” and cast the race as a “referendum on my character and my ability to manage” but didn’t offer any direct reaction or rebuttal to Lhota’s “only real Republican” comment.
The endorsement is a good pickup for Malliotakis as Lhota is well-known and well-regarded among City Republicans both for his Giuliani-era government service and for his anti-de Blasio cred. He doesn’t come with any political organization or GOTV muscle, but his endorsement adds to her solid Republican credentials and helps further the notion that she’s a viable and more like-minded choice for City Republicans.
Massey had a good endorsement pickup last week, with a surprise endorsement from the Bronx Republican Party. That small wave of Masseymentum has faded beneath a wave of Malliomentum as Malliotakis received endorsements from her home borough Staten Island Republican Party and several elected Staten Island Republicans, as well as the Lhota endorsement. Waves don’t last forever though, and next up on the endorsement list are the Manhattan and Brooklyn Republican organizations, both of which are scheduled to make endorsement decisions tonight.
Video – Massey Reaction: