John Catsimatidis picks up Dean Skelos endorsement for NYC mayor

John Catsimatidis attends the wedding of Andrea Catsimatidis

John Catsimatidis attends the wedding of Andrea Catsimatidis and Christopher Nixon Cox at the Greek Orthodox Cathedral Of The Holy Trinity in Manhattan. (June 4, 2011) (Credit: Wire Image)

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John Catsimatidis picked up the endorsement Thursday of the state Legislature's top Republican in his bid for the GOP nomination in the New York City mayor's race.

Senate co-leader Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre) said the grocery magnate was the "best qualified" among the handful of Republican hopefuls. Skelos lauded Catsimatidis' resume in making the endorsement.

"John is a lifelong resident of New York City. He was educated in its public school system and with hard work and determination built successful businesses that have made him a leader of the city's business community," Skelos said in a statement. "John Catsimatidis knows what it takes to create jobs; he's created tens of thousands in the private sector and will do the same as mayor."

Catsimatidis is locked in a GOP battle with former Metropolitan Transportation Authority chairman Joe Lhota and Doe Fund founder George McDonald. Adolfo Carrion Jr., a former Bronx borough president and an Independence Party member, is also trying to get on the GOP ballot.

Skelos' endorsement comes just a week after former Gov. George Pataki announced his support. It also came hours before Catsimatidis was slated to square off in a candidates' debate in Manhattan.

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