Even though John Catsimatidis is spending millions on his run for mayor, his main rival has refused to take him seriously, and it's unclear as of this point if voters will. Catsimatidis attacked Lhota Wednesday for Lhota's support of legalizing marijuana. NY1's Courtney Gross filed the following report.
Joseph Lhota supports legalizing marijuana, and John Catsimatidis is trying to make it an issue on the campaign trail.
"He wants to legalize pot and marijuana, which is wrong," Catsimatidis said. "You know, it's been proven. What are we going to do, make our kids a bunch of potheads?"
An anti-Lhota mailer landed in mailboxes on Tuesday.
"John has relying on making these attacks on me," Lhota said. "The reality is, he is a desperate candidate and he says desperate things."
The former Giuliani deputy is not exactly taking his rival seriously, but Catsimatidis, a billionaire, has already spent more than $5 million on his campaign, a number that grows by the day.
His latest ad, launched Wednesday, includes a familiar Republican face: former Governor George Pataki.
"We want someone who understands the people and wants to bring them together," Pataki says in the ad.
Lhota has another weapon up his sleeve. He will campaign with former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani before next Tuesday's primary.
Other Giuliani supporters are also launching their own pro-Lhota campaign.
A political action committee known as People for a Better New York will launch ads to "introduce" Lhota to New Yorkers. The group is funded in part by the conservative Koch family.
"I feel some days, I am running against Rudy and not against Joe," Catsimatidis said.
Lhota and Catsimatidis will face off in person for a final televised debate scheduled for Sunday. One candidate has not been invited to participate. That's George McDonald.
"I think the people would want to hear from me," McDonald said. "Maybe the CFB doesn't want to hear from me. I understand that."
McDonald argued that it's unfair he is excluded, while Catsimatidis, spending all of his own cash, is invited.
The Campaign Finance Board argued that McDonald has not raised enough money to participate.