John A. Catsimatidis announces run for mayor

John A. Catsimatidis (Nancy Borowick)

John A. Catsimatidis (Nancy Borowick) (Credit: John A. Catsimatidis (Nancy Borowick))

Gristedes owner John Catsimatidis formally declared his candidacy for mayor on the GOP ticket Tuesday on the steps of City Hall.

"It's not about being a Republican or a Democrat," said Catsimatidis, 64, who was previously a Democrat.

"It's about being a New Yorker who cares." If elected, he promised to create jobs in the city and help businesses succeed. Catsimatidis is best known for owning the grocery store chain alongside real estate and oil companies. Forbes ranked Catsimatidis No.

132 on its 400 List with an estimated worth of $3 billion. Catsimatidis previously pledged he would spend $20 million of his own money on the campaign but toned down his prediction during the news conference. He boasted Tuesday that he wasn't wearing a $5,000 suit, and was in just a $100 garment.

Catsimatidis said he expects former Gov. George Pataki to give him an endorsement in the near future. Other GOP contenders include former MTA chief Joe Lhota and Manhattan publisher Tom Allon.

Dan Isaacs, the chairman of the New York Republican County Committee, called Catsimatidis "a quintessential New Yorker" with an "only in America story."

Catsimatidis, born in Greece, emigrated with his parents to New York in 1949. He grew up on 135th Street in Harlem and graduated from New York public schools.

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