Billionaire business mogul John Catsimatides– a staple in New York City politics for years– told Politico in an interview that he was thinking about running for mayor of the Big Apple (again).
But this time, he said, he may even run as a democrat.
He said in the interview that he hasn’t made up his mind.
“I may want to run as a Democrat with this ranked choice thing,” he said, referring to a new system of ranked choice voting that allows New York City voters to choose several candidates in order of preference in the June primary.
Current mayor Bill DiBlasio’s term expires in November.
“This is a Democratic city, and I was a Bill Clinton Democrat. I was a Democrat for a long time,” Catsimatidis said. “I’m a middle-of-the-road guy. I can be a conservative Democrat, or I can be a liberal Republican.”
“The Democratic party needs somebody with courage to stand up against the crazy Democrats. There’s a lot of moderate Democrats I have a lot of respect for, I’ve supported in the past,” he said. “With ranked choice voting in the primary, who knows what happens? … I think 80 percent of New Yorkers have common sense, and want somebody with common sense and a business head.”
Catsimatidis is heavily involved in the affairs of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese and serves as a co-chair of the Church’s main council. He is also a co-founder of a small group called Friends of St. Nicholas who spearheaded the effort to finish St. Nicholas at Ground Zero.
But he remains active and involved in politics and has donated millions to candidates on both sides of the aisle– and has even shared his passion with the next generation. His daughter Andrea is chair of the Manhattan Republican Party.
His decision to run as a democrat, if he actually does, could create some interesting family dynamics and dinner-table talk with his running as a democrat and his daughter, as chair of the Manhattan GOP, openly supporting her party’s candidate.
But Catsimatidis may have a tough time convincing residents of this city– who are known for their strong dislike for anything connected to Donald Trump– that he is their candidate to run the city.
Catsimatidis continues to support Trump and has been outspoken about many of his policies that angered Democrats, including the border wall, which Catsimatides– an immigrant himself, spoke openly about in an interview last year.
“If you vote on personality, he loses. If you vote on performance for our country, he did a great job for our economy. He did a great job sealing the border,” he said in the Politico interview. “He did make mistakes. But he did a lot of good stuff for our country, and he doesn’t deserve the treatment he’s getting right now.”
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