MTA chief Joe Lhota will resign his position, as is required by New York City law, in order to run for mayor next year. The news comes weeks after Lhota’s handling of the Hurricane Sandy recovery was widely praised by all sides.
Though he has said little about his plans, Mr. Lhota floated the prospect of his candidacy during a meeting with Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg this month. It would seem to be an uphill battle in a city where Democrats outnumber Republicans by more than six to one. A former executive vice president for the Madison Square Garden Company, Mr. Lhota is well known among the city’s political and business elite, some of whom have recently clamored for him to enter the race. But in a recent Quinnipiac University poll, Mr. Lhota lost, 60 percent to 9 percent, against an unnamed Democrat in a hypothetical mayor’s race. Nonetheless, his entry into the race would immediately jolt a campaign that many had expected to be determined by the Democratic primary next year. He would be the first prominent Republican to enter the race.
Thus far the only other declared GOP candidate is the relatively unknown billionaire owner of a New York City supermarket chain.