Mayor Bill de Blasio’s penchant for being late is now costing his potential gubernatorial campaign.
De Blasio recently reached out to donors to discuss his draft challenge for the Democratic primaries – only to find out that they had already invested their money in incumbent Governor Kathy Hochul.
The mayor recently had lunch with business tycoons John Catsimatidis and Dennis Mehiel – after the duo have already organized two fundraisers and raised nearly half a million dollars for the state’s first female governor.
Former Lt. Gov. Hochul became New York’s chief executive after Andrew Cuomo resigned under threat of impeachment over a sexual misconduct scandal.
De Blasio requested lunch with the duo at the Smith & Wollensky steakhouse.
Although he has not officially tossed his hat in the ring for a 2022 gubernatorial candidacy, Hizzoner expressed his interest: he created a nominating committee and said to himself “there is a lot to be done. settle in Albany ”.
“The mayor of Blasio asked us to have lunch with him to discuss what he wants to do in the future, after he left office on January 1. It was about what he was going to do after January”, said Catsimatidis, a billionaire whose business interests include oil companies, real estate and the Gristedes supermarket chain.
Catsimatidis, a former mayoral candidate who described himself as a ‘liberal Republican’, declined to say what advice he gave Blasio about his gubernatorial candidacy – but another source told the Post that he and Mehiel had discouraged a candidacy. Donors who contribute and pool so much money for a sitting governor do not do the same for a main rival.
“It was a cordial and friendly discussion. I have known the man for 35 to 40 years. You know the expression “You don’t go to bed and talk about it the next day”. I’m not going to kiss and relate, ”Catsimatidis said.
Mehiel is an executive at a corrugated packaging company who served as chairman of the Battery Park City Authority and was appointed by Cuomo.
Catsimatidis and Mehiel are major political and philanthropic donors who have deep ties to the Greek-American community.
Catsimatidis companies have business relationships before or with city and state governments. He and his wife, Margo, contributed more than $ 300,000 to Cuomo’s campaigns for Governor and Attorney General.
He was also questioned by investigators about a $ 50,000 donation that was directed to the Democratic Party in Putnam at the request of de Blasio to help shift the State Senate from Republican control to control. Democrat in 2014.
United Metro Energy Corp of Catsimatidis has won tens of millions of dollars in municipal contracts that provide government agencies with bulk deliveries of fuel oil, bio-blend and bio-heat.
Hochul has raised $ 10 million since August, when she applied to the state electoral council to run for a full term, and has $ 11.1 million in cash.
Big cat lobbyists, real estate moguls and politicians have attended several fundraisers for his campaign – with ticket prices reaching $ 25,000 apiece.
State Attorney General and 2022 gubernatorial candidate Letitia James also recently hired a new campaign manager – Gabby Seay – who was the political action director of the 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers Union. The key union’s approval will be in demand ahead of the Democratic primary in June.
De Blasio did not respond to an immediate request for comment.