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Bay Ridge pol enters race for mayor

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Another Republican mayoral candidate just threw her hat in the ring.

Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis, who represents the Rock-to-Ridge district, is officially running for mayor. Malliotakis now joins four other Grand Old Party hopefuls vying to replace Democrat Mayor DeBlasio in 2018 — the seven-year state legislator filed with the state Board of Elections to form a campaign committee, “Nicole for New York City,” and registered with the city’s Campaign Finance Board on April 25.

Malliotakis — who made headlines when she and another Staten Island pol sued the city to stop it from destroying IDNYC records from undocumented immigrants — has yet to make a formal announcement, and previously said she would only make a run for the big chair if her friend, billionaire supermarket mogul John Catsimatidis, who ran in 2013, bowed out. But with no sign of Catsimatidis entering the race, Malliotakis said she is in it to win it — and vowed to hold Hizzoner’s feet to the fire.

“John’s a friend of mine, he’s a billionaire, and he is well known because he ran previously. I’m not looking to run against my friend, and I don’t think he is looking to run against his friend, either. Only way I get out of this race is if John decides to get in, but at this point it’s getting late. I called him and I told him I was filing and moving forward,” said Malliotakis during a phone interview on April 26. “I have a lot of ideas and a lot of concerns with the direction this mayor has taken us.”

One of the biggest issues Malliotakis has with DeBlasio is spending, she said.

“His solution to every problem has been to tax and spend. Putting money into a broken system. The answer to fixing many of the problems is not to throw more money,” she said.

Malliotakis spoke at a Manhattan Republican Party forum on April 26 and asked for the organization’s support — she had to rush to declare her candidacy and register with the city’s Campaign Finance Board ahead of the meeting, or else she would not have been allowed to participate, because just a media report isn’t good enough, said the Chairwoman of the Manhattan Republican Party.

“One story in the New York Post does not make you candidate,” said Adele Malpass.

And Malliotakis, who is the daughter of immigrants — her father is from Greece and her mother a Cuban exile — is the only woman among the candidates — a distinction she is proud of, she said, but not what her campaign is all about.

“A city like New York, that we haven’t had a female as mayor is sad — but that’s not the reason why people should vote for me,” she said. “People should vote for me because I have the ideas to ensure their tax dollars are spent properly.”

Malliotakis joins my former girls soccer coach and millionaire real estate developer Paul Massey, former New York Jets defensive lineman Rev. Michel Faulkner, Fox News pundit Bo Dietl, and most recently, millionaire businessman from California Roque “Rocky” De La Fuente.

DeBlasio is currently running unopposed in the September Democratic primary.

Malliotakis will have some catching up to do in terms of financing her campaign. Massey has $2,512,278 in his campaign coffers, Faulkner has $64,755, and Dietl has $390,471, according to city records. She plans to take part in the city’s matching-funds program, which matches small contributions from city residents at a $6-to-$1 rate.

But Malliotakis is not concerned with getting into the race late in the game — she believes she has more influence than the other candidates, including Massey, she said.

“Despite all the money he has raised, he’s relatively unknown and has not really held the mayor accountable on many issues,” said Malliotakis. “And the candidates currently haven’t been able to bring excitement to this race.”

Catsimatidis could not be reached for comment.

• • •

Acting District Attorney Eric Gonzalez is running to win a full term on the job.

Gonzalez officially announced his candidacy to become the borough’s Top Legal Eagle on April 26 in Bedford-Stuyvesant, with $866,352 already in his campaign coffers.

Gonzalez rose to the position shortly before the late Ken Thompson’s death in October, when the ailing District Attorney tapped Gonzalez, his then-deputy, to fill his shoes — and Gonzalez vowed to continue the work he and his predecessor did in office, he said in an e-mailed press release announcing his campaign.

“It has been a privilege for me to have served the people of Brooklyn for the last 22 years, and to have worked hand-in-hand with Ken Thompson to make the Brooklyn DA’s office a model for what an effective and progressive prosecutor’s office should be,” Gonzalez said. “I’m here because I want four more years to continue the important work we started. I’m here because I am running for district attorney of the great borough of Brooklyn.”

Thompson’s window Lu-Shawn Thompson and Public Advocate Tish James endorsed and joined Gonzalez for his announcement.

Gonzalez was hand-picked by the late Thompson, and there’s no better candidate to carry on his legacy for criminal justice reform, said his widow.

“When you elected my husband, he selected a team that would execute his vision,” said Thompson. “At the top of that list was Eric Gonzalez, and he asked Eric to fulfill his vision. By electing Eric, you will help secure my husband’s legacy of justice for all.”

Gonzalez officially joins the other Democratic candidates — Brooklyn Heights district leader Anne Swern, former assistant district attorney under former DA Charles Hynes March Fliedner, the city’s former Human Rights Commissioner Patricia Gatling, Borough President Adams staffer and former prosecutor Ama Dwimoh, and Councilman Vincent Gentile (D–Bay Ridge).

The Democratic primary is in September.

Reach reporter Julianne Cuba at (718) 260–4577 or by e-mail at jcuba@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @julcuba.
Updated 11:25 am, April 27, 2017
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