MTA Chairman and CEO Joe Lhota, widely praised for getting subways and buses back on track so quickly after Sandy caused unprecedented damage to the transit system, has talked about a possible run for mayor of New York City, former mayor Rudy Giuliani told the Daily News.
Lhota, a registered Republican, served as Giuliani's budget director, finance commissioner and deputy mayor for operations. Giuliani was mayor from 1994 to 2001.
He told the News Lhota would likely announce by the end of December whether he intends to throw his hat into the ring. He'd have to resign from his MTA job if he opted to run, and Giuliani said, based on discussions he's had with Lhota, the transit chief isn't sure he wants to do that.
"He's trying to figure it out. He loves his job," Giuliani told the News.
Giuliani has previously said that he believes Lhota would make an excellent mayor. His adviser told the Wall Street Journal last month that Giuliani will do everything he can to help elect Lhota if the chairman decides to enter the race.
“I’d like to see him run for the city and for the Republican Party, but I want him to be aware of the fact that it’s a very tough road,” Giuliani told the News.
Without identifying potential candidates, Giuliani also noted the stiff Democratic competition Lhota could face. City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio and former mayoral contender and city Controller Bill Thompson are among the likely contenders for the Democratic nomination.
Former Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion could challenge Lhota for the Republican nomination, should the MTA head opt to run, but he's not a registered party member and would need the support of three of the five GOP county chairs in the city to add his name to a primary ticket.