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Earlier today, Republican mayoral candidate Joseph Lhota accepted endorsement on the City Hall steps from the full GOP caucus of the City Council. They comprise four of the body’s 51 members. They sang praises in particular for Lhota’s past City Hall role and in general for the Giuliani administration, which ended in 2001.
Minority Leader James Oddo of Staten Island said that when he was running for office and filming a commercial on the steps, on a Sunday in August 2001, with the administration ready to wind down, Lhota came out the door with a valise in one hand and filed in the other — a sign of his work ethic.
“I have always been impressed with his intellect, his work ethic, his sincerity, and his wit,” Oddo said. “And I think Joe is by far the superior candidate. I think he’d be an excellent mayor.”
Councilman Vincent Ignizio (R-Staten Island) gave Lhota a share of credit in Giuliani positives. “I [like Oddo] was a staff member in the Giuliani days and knew quite well the work ethic Joe Lhota had. In our districts we saw a turnaround . . . Crime dropped unbelievably.” The Staten Island landfill closed and a minor league ballpark was built in the borough. Ignizio called it a “renaissance.”
Added Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Queens): “I am concerned about the future of this city. I don’t want to go back to the days of when crime was rampant, unemployment was high, and we were chasing small business away from New York City and tourists were afraid to come here.”
And Dan Halloran (R-Queens) said: “The question becomes who we as elect officials look to for leadership. Clearly our role models are in the Giuliani administration. There is no one further at the front of that than Joe Lhota.”
After he thanked the group, Lhota shut down a line of questioning from a reporter who asked about Ulrich’s having described rival John Catsimatidis as “a buffoon.”
“Let’s keep this about topics we’re going to talk about — issues during the campaign. I think that’s the most important thing to do. Thank you very much.”