Borough GOP Leaders Weigh Potential Republican Mayoral Candidates
Democrats might outnumber Republicans in New York, but it's the GOP that has controlled City Hall for two decades. For 2013, though, the local leaders of the Republican Party are struggling to find a candidate for their ticket. NY1's Courtney Gross filed the following report.
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While most eyes are focused on Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, city leaders of the GOP are taking a fresh look at a newly minted member of their party -- George McDonald -- who is exploring a run for mayor.
"We met with George McDonald, the five county chairs from New York City, very intelligent, very successful businessman, who would make a great mayoral candidate," said Brooklyn Republican Party Chairman Craig Eaton.
McDonald is the founder of the Doe Fund, a nonprofit group that tries to get the chronically homeless or formerly incarcerated back on their feet.
McDonald said he was not ready to talk to NY1 about his candidacy on camera, but he said he has received a strong response so far.
Until recently, McDonald was a Democrat. He is just one of several candidates who are looking to avoid the already crowded Democratic primary field.
GOP leaders have also met with Manhattan Media's Tom Allon and Democratic State Senator Malcolm Smith, but some they like more than others.
"I don't think at this stage we looking to go for Senator Smith on the Republican line," said Eaton.
They are also considering supermarket mogul John Catsimatidis and even trying to recruit the city police commissioner.
"Although he has said he is not going to run as of this point, at least that is the reports that have come out, Ray Kelly would be a great candidate," said State Republican Party Chairman Edward Cox.
They are also not ruling out Democrats.
"As long as their philosophy and as long as their stance on the issues are in line with what it means to be a Republican, then no, I don't think we would," said Manhattan Republican Party Chairman Daniel Isaacs.
They do face a challenge. Democratic candidates for mayor have been raising cash for months, if not years, while potential Republicans have not.
"Obviously, a decision needs to be made sooner rather than later. And I think that decision will be made sometime early next year," said Isaacs.
The city's Republican leaders are confident they will find a formidable candidate for 2013. After all, they say its their candidates that have been controlling City Hall for 20 years.