Catsimatidis promises to end New York City’s first-lady drought

Margo and John Catsimatidis. (Dana Rubinstein)
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"You know we haven’t had a first lady in New York City in 17 years," said Republican mayoral hopeful John Catsimatidis today during a mutual endorsement fest in front of Queens Borough Hall. "I’d be proud for New York to have a first lady in my wife Margo Catsimatidis."

Catsimatidis was endorsing four City Council candidates, including Sunny Hahn, a self-described "artist and activist" vying for Republican-turned Democrat Peter Koo's seat in Flushing.

“As Asian economic power is threatening to sink American economy, America needs the best and brightest Asian Americans to serve in public offices," she said. "Especially those who love America more than the country of their origin.”

The four Council candidates, in turn, were endorsing Catsimatidis.

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And bestowing his blessing on all of them was embattled GOP chair Phil Ragusa, who said that Catsimatidis, the billionaire grocery store and oil magnate, was the candidate best equipped to continue Mayor Michael Bloomberg's legacy, and that Catsimatidis' showering of money on the Republican party had nothing to do with it.

Does the future first lady have a platform?

"Absolutely," said Catsimatidis. "She can talk about it too if she wants to."

She didn't.

"She’s worked very, very hard for Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, juvenile diabetes, and also for the kids of New York," said Catsimatidis, before transitioning into a discussion of his own good deeds. "We both have worked very hard for the Police Athletic League. I’ve worked with Bob Morgenthau for 28 years helping the poor kids in the poor neighborhoods that need help."

"I am there to give those kids hope that they can make it too," he said, jabbing his finger in the air.

Since Rudy Giuliani announced to the press (and to his wife) that he was seeking a divorce in 2000 (it took two years to finalize) New York City has not had a married mayor.

Bloomberg lives with and frequently appears at public events with his girlfriend, Diana Taylor.

What has the city missed out on in the absence of a first lady?

"A first lady that would give a lot of parties for charities at Gracie Mansion," said Catsimatidis.

Catismatidis is budgeting $1 million a month for his run and would "absolutely" spend more, should he need to, not that he believes the polling that indicates his rival for the Republican nomination, Joe Lhota, is really in the lead.

"I don’t think he has the lead any more," he said. "I’ve been to every borough. I’ve hugged a lot of people. I’ve seen a lot of people. People believe in me. Once they hear me talk and hear me talk about how I feel and who I am, they are for me.”

A couple hours later, Lhota was scheduled to appear at a press conference to call for Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver's resignation, in the wake of Albany's sexual harassment scandals.

Catsimatidis also thinks Silver should go.

“I believe in term limits ... and I think Shelly has exceeded his limits," he said.