While both Rudy Giuliani and Mike Bloomberg were elected as Republican mayors of New York City, both did so by utilizing the cross-endorsement of minor parties, giving Democrats and Independentsin an overwhelmingly Democratic city a place on the ballot to vote for them. It is important to note, however, that the demographics of New York City have shifted dramatically since Mayor Bloomberg's first election, explaining the "closer-than-expected" re-election race with Democrat Bill Thompson after the unpopular repeal of term limits. Today, the Democratic Party nominee has an even larger advantage than when Bloomberg and Giuliani were elected. The number of white voters has dropped - New York has gotten browner, blacker and more Asian. Clearly, in today's New York City it would take an extraordinary set of developments for Republican Joe Lhota to win the mayor's office. At the same time, it is just as evident that only Lhota offers voters something different and could, conceivably, save the Big Apple. New Yorkers could be treated to a hot five-way race for mayor: John Catsimatidis will buy the Liberal Party nomination; Adolfo Carrion, Jr. vows to stay on the ballot as the Independence Party nominee; Joe Lhota will prevail in the Republican primary; and Christine Quinn should edge out the aforementioned Thompson for the Democratic nomination. Union-controlled candidate Bill de Blasio could even snag the Working Families Party's nod. Unlike the Democratic primary, which requires a runoff if no one wins a majority, the next mayor could win Gracie Mansion with just a plurality of the votes. Properly positioned, Joe Lhota could win a four or five way race. There are three wild card factors to also consider. First, former Congressman Anthony Weiner, an outer-borough Jewish candidate with a heavy war chest, could jump in the Democratic primary providing an assist to Thompson, who is more than likely a stronger general election candidate for the Democrats. Governor Andrew Cuomo also could jam electoral reform legislation through Albany which opens party primaries to any registered voter, doing away with the ability of party bosses to control their nomination. Lastly, Joe Lhota could attract a second and perhaps third line where disaffected Democrats and moderates can vote for him. It would be a mistake to assume that Lhota is a Giuliani Republican just because of his service in the Giuliani administration. Lhota is a more convivial and accessible manager with a greater interest in results than ideology. He is the only candidate who would hold the line against the tax increases that virtually all the Democratic candidates propose and who has delivered for the taxpayers when it comes to better management for transportation. When New York's Public Employee Unions all have to renegotiate their contracts, Lhota is the man to have at the helm. Lawyer Sam Nunberg contextualized Lhota's peerless libertarian judgments on Breitbart:
Make no mistake; while Joe is both personally and professionally close to Rudy, on policy Joe follows Rudy's fiscal conservatism but is certainly not a knee jerk conservative on social issues. Joe supports both legal and civil marriage rights for all. Joe is pro legalization of marijuana and watering down the draconian Rockefeller drug laws which have flooded our prisons with non-violent criminals. Joe is also a supporter of hunting and is as close as this city will ever get in respecting the gun rights of law-abiding citizens. Joe is certainly a Barry Goldwater acolyte when it comes to making government more efficient. He believes government works for the people and should provide tangible services to the taxpayer. Besides his aforementioned fiscal bona fides during Rudy's term, Joe took a scalpel to the MTA during his tenure as Chairman. Joe brought the "most aggressive internal cost-cutting ever undertaken, resulting in annual recurring savings of $809 million in 2013, which grow to more than $1.2 billion in 2016." Besides reigning in administration costs, Joe paid down the MTA's debt. And remarkably he did this while providing pay raises for MTA employees which is not only fair and equitable but should insure no future strikes.
On April 9th, the New York Libertarian Party cross-endorsed Joe Lhota at their New York City Nominating Convention. Lhota urgently needs a second line to win votes. If I were running Lhota's campaign, given the fact that the Board Of Elections has just slashed the number of signatures required for ballot access, I would petition my way onto the ballot under a "Citizen's Union" or other good government oriented ballot position as well as accepting the Libertarian designation. History indicates that Democrats and Independents are less likely than ever to vote on the Republican line given the party's high unfavorable ratings with New York City voters. Minor parties, such as the Libertarians, would provide Lhota a bridge for these voters. Polling shows that the Libertarian label is identified with neither left nor right by most voters while its generally conservative economic and fiscal philosophy and its progressive social issue positions are popular with voters who are educated about the Libertarian philosophy. It remains to be seen whether Lhota accepts or declines the Libertarian nomination in August when party petitions are filed. Based on his own writings, Lhota should be comfortable with the Libertarian label. "Don't confuse libertarianism with anti-governmentism," Lhota told Capital's Dana Rubenstein. "I don't work in a part of government that infringes on people's rights. If anything, I work in that part of government that gives people freedom and gives people rights, and always have."