Two weeks ago we learned that MTA head Joe Lhota, who has earned widespread praise for the response to Hurricane Sandy, was being touted in GOP circles as a candidate to succeed Mayor Bloomberg. Now he’s got Giuliani in his corner. Via New York Times:
Former Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, under whom Mr. Lhota was a deputy mayor and with whom he still speaks frequently, is encouraging him to run and appears poised to take on an active role in any campaign. And Republican county leaders in the city have been contacted by a supporter, Jake Menges, an adviser to Mr. Giuliani, requesting that they hold off on endorsing a candidate. “He said, ‘I’ll have someone that you’ll like,’ ” Phil Ragusa, the Queens Republican chairman, recalled of his conversation with Mr. Menges. “I guess it was probably Joe.” In a city where Democrats outnumber Republicans by more than 6 to 1, the specter of a run by Mr. Lhota, who declined to comment on his plans, has galvanized some who quietly expected the 2013 race to end a two-decade stretch without a Democratic mayor. “The M.T.A. happens to be one of the few things that was run well since Sandy,” State Senator Martin J. Golden of Brooklyn said. “I think he’d win.”
In a poll conducted last week, Lhota lost against a hypothetical and unnamed Democrat by a 6-1 margin. City Council Speaker Christine Quinn continues to lead in most polls.