New York Post. By Carl Campanile February 21, 2021
The Staten Island Republican Party has endorsed Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa for mayor.
The backing of the island GOP’s Saturday night is a coup for the red beret-wearing Sliwa, as the island GOP is the strongest, most organized Republican organization in the otherwise Democratic city.
“The members of the Staten Island Republican Party are concerned with the current trajectory of the City of New York. Today we make the first step to take back our City,” said newly elected island Republican Party chairman Anthony Reinhart.
Other GOP candidates in the running include taxi-bodega advocate Fernando Mateo and financier Sara Tirschwell.
Billionaire business mogul John Catsimatidis is strongly considering a second run for City Hall after losing the GOP primary to Joe Lhota in 2013. Petitioning to get on the ballot is March 2, so he’ll have to decide soon.
“The Staten Island Republican Party interviewed all candidates who responded to our call … Curtis Sliwa was the clear choice to be our candidate, and we are enthusiastic to support him as he brings his vision on how to save our City and protect Staten Island’s quality of life,” Reinhard said when asked about Catsimatidis.
Sliwa, who recently filed paperwork for his candidacy, said he will step aside if Catsimatidis jumps into the race.
Catsimatidis owns 77 WABC Talk Radio and Sliwa has his own radio program on the network — which means Catsimatidis is his boss.
“I’m honored to receive the endorsement of the Staten Island Republican Party. This is the body that rescued this city twice, first with Rudy Giuliani and then with Mike Bloomberg,” Sliwa said.
“Right now, with our city facing a crime crisis and the precipice of fiscal calamity, I’m looking forward to working with Republican leaders from all over the city to save it.”
While Democratic candidates have been talking about reining in the NYPD, Sliwa and his Guardian Angels safety patrol group have been visiting and patrolling subway stations and other locations that have seen spikes in crime.
On Saturday, Sliwa stumped outside Bay Ridge train station where an elderly man was mugged on the subway platform.
“The paramount issue is crime and public safety. Without addressing that, nothing else happens,” Sliwa said.
“Public safety is my strength. It’s been my whole life.”
Staten Island has a GOP congresswoman with Rep. Nicole Malliotakis. Other Republican elected office-holders include Borough President James Oddo, state Sen. Andrew Lanza, Council members Joseph Borelli and Steven Matteo, and Assembly members Michael Reilly and Michael Tannousis.
Former President Donald Trump carried the borough over President Biden in last fall’s election.
Strong votes on the island helped elect Rudy Giuliani twice and Michael Bloomberg three times as mayor when they ran under the GOP banner.