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MTA Chairman’s Name Tossed Into Mix For Mayoral Race

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, MTA Chairman Joseph Lhota (L-R) inside Hugh L. Carey Brooklyn Battery Tunnel before its reopening Nov. 13, 2012 (credit: Alex Silverman/WCBS 880)

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, MTA Chairman Joseph Lhota (L-R) inside Hugh L. Carey Brooklyn Battery Tunnel before its reopening Nov. 13, 2012 (credit: Alex Silverman/WCBS 880)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – On the heels of his handling of the recovery in the aftermath of superstorm Sandy, MTA Chairman Joseph Lhota’s name has come up as a possible Republican candidate for mayor.

WCBS 880′s Rich Lamb reports

“There’s no question that Joe Lhota would be an interesting candidate, could be a threat. Why? He’s done a terrific job of getting the subway system, the bus system and the regional commuter rails running again after Hurricane Sandy and it’s something you could really run with,” Democratic political consultant Hank Sheinkopf told WCBS 880′s Rich Lamb.

Sheinkopf cautioned that the path may be a bit more difficult for Lhota, should he choose to jump into the race, because of the demographic make-up of New York City.

“Generally, it’s very difficult because of the registration edge for Democrats to be defeated in mayoral elections. But we haven’t had a Democrat elected to the top office in 20 years, so anything can happen,” Sheinkopf said.

Former Mayor Ed Koch said Lhota is a well-qualified candidate that Republicans could be happy to support.
“I’m not supportive of his candidacy and I believe he will lose to the Democrat who is running and I am supporting Christine [Quinn],” Former Mayor Ed Koch said. “I would say if you have any desire to be mayor, you should run. He’ll never have a better opportunity.”

City Council Speaker Quinn, widely believed to be the front-runner for the Democratic nomination, has not formally announced her candidacy for mayor.

The most recent poll of likely Democratic voters conducted in August showed Quinn with 29 percent of the vote.

Lhota has not said whether he intends to run for mayor.

The New York City mayoral election will be held next November.

Who would you like to see run for mayor? Sound off in the comments section below…