A file photo of New York City Police Commissioner Ray...

A file photo of New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly. (July 13, 2011) Credit: Getty Images

Call him New York's Ray of hope.

Republicans eager to have a viable candidate in the 2013 mayoral race are ready to back Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, which is not a far-fetched idea considering that a Quinnipiac poll of city voters released Wednesday put him well ahead of other potential contenders.

The city's top cop has continually swatted rumors that he'd trade One Police Plaza for City Hall, but his boosters told amNewYork they're hoping he'll have a change of heart.

The latest poll shows 25 percent of voters would pull the lever for Kelly. Council Speaker Christine Quinn came in second with 17 percent and Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz had 14 percent.

"I've been recruiting Ray to run for the past half a dozen years," said Guy Molinari, a friend and former Staten Island borough president.

He said when he last had lunch with Kelly about 2 1/2 months ago, the commish did show "mild interest" in the idea of running, but Kelly has made no plans to mount a campaign.

"If he says he wants to run, I'd like to sit down with him and figure out what's the best way to approach it," Molinari said.

Although voter records show Kelly, 70, is not registered with a particular party, Republicans believe he may want to run on the GOP ticket because he could attract top fundraisers and wouldn't have to deal with a Democratic primary expected to have several candidates.

Kelly "hits the ground running," said state Sen. Martin Golden (R-Brooklyn), a former cop. "He brings to the table that management skill and knows how to keep the city safe. I'll be part of the draft team."

But NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said Kelly "hasn't changed his position" about entering politics.

His supporters say he'd have a relatively strong record to run on, given how the city's crime rate has stayed low and the Big Apple hasn't suffered a serious terrorist attack since 9/11.

The poll surveyed registered voters Oct. 12-16.

Cop rescues dogs … Flags at Calverton National Cemetery … Nick Zamperion Credit: Newsday

BusPatrol politics ... Memorial Day parades ... No Blue Angels on Sunday ... Service dogs in the Air Force 

Cop rescues dogs … Flags at Calverton National Cemetery … Nick Zamperion Credit: Newsday

BusPatrol politics ... Memorial Day parades ... No Blue Angels on Sunday ... Service dogs in the Air Force 

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