t appears that billionaire businessman and radio talk show host John Catsimatidis is once again throwing his hat in the ring once again as he prepares to run for mayor of New York City once again.
Currently, Catsimatidis, 71, is in the process of forming an exploratory committee as he readies himself for the 2021 mayoral race.
Back in 2013, Catsimatidis ran for mayor of the Big Apple as a Republican. While he has never held public office before, Catsimatidis is known for his Red Apple Group which owns the United Metro Energy company, the Manhattan based Gristedes supermarket chain, the new owner of 770 WABC & hosts 2 radio shows on WABC and 970AM “The Answer”
In July of 2013, it was reported that the Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Catsimatidis was personally responsible for a $3.5 million settlement that his supermarket chain previously struck with workers who sued over being shortchanged.
The Manhattan court sided with a federal judge who ruled that billionaire was the workers’ “employer” – and thus was responsible for paying off a 2009 settlement in the unfair-labor-practices class-action suit filed in 2004.
In 2015, it was reported that Catsimatidis put in a bid to buy the NY Daily News.
In 2018, Catsimatidis had his eye on property development in Coney Island. “We tamed Myrtle Avenue,” said Catsimatidis at the time. “Now we’re taming Coney Island.” By ‘taming’, he is of course, referring to gentrification.
In February of 2018, it was reported that Catsimatidis’ Red Apple Group picked up a recently developed Brooklyn apartment building by the Barclays Center in Prospect Heights for $69.2 million, The Real Deal Reported.
In 2013, Catsimatidis lost the Republican primary to MTA chairman and deputy mayor Joe Lhota.
Critics of Catsimatidis said his loss in that primary was quite surprising considering the fact that his opponent was once of the most lackluster candidates that ever ran on the Republican ticket for mayor.
“Lhota really had nothing to offer in terms of city leadership skills. He cannot relate to people, has a dry and boring personality and is not well versed on the ins and outs of local politics. I had thought that with Catsimatidis’ vast knowledge of city government, his extensive political network and his personal funding capacity that he would have clinched the nomination, but that was not to be,” said a source who was familiar with the Catsimatidis campaign.
Others have said that he does not stand a chance in the upcoming mayoral race because he is a Republican and that New York City is a sold Democratic town.
His daughter Andrea is the chair of the Manhattan Republican Party.
According to a NY post report Catsimatidis said that he wants to “do a coalition of Democrats and Republicans, Liberals and Conservatives” but his critics say that he lacks the skills to unite such a diverse coalition.
Speaking on the condition of anonymity, a source close to the Catsimatidis family has said that “with all of John’s billions, he is not a charitable person at all and never donates to causes that help New Yorkers or any other groups that are dedicated to improving the quality of life in the city. In politics, making donations to charities is how one displays their commitment to public service and he has not done that, nor does he ever intend to.”
“Last time I ran as a Republican and Liberal but I was not ashamed to call myself a Bill Clinton person after I got to know him,” Catsimatidis said of the former Democratic president, according to a NY Post report.
The mega-billionaire also faces some tough competition to contend with in 2021.
Among the Democrats seeking to succeed de Blasio, who is term-limited, are city Comptroller Scott Stringer, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and Council Speaker Corey Johnson. It has also been recently reported that CNN executive Jeff Zucker has expressed an interest in running for mayor.
Each of the aforementioned not only has political clout and name recognition but they have hands on experience in dealing with issues affecting all New Yorkers.
The only other people that have won on the Republican ticket in recent times are Rudy Giuliani and Mike Bloomberg.
Bloomberg eventually morphed into a far left Democrat and Giuliani transitioned into a role of legal counsel for President Trump.