Likely mayoral candidate Joe Lhota made his candidacy all but official Monday, as he said at a Manhattan lunch event that he will file the necessary papers this week.
The former chairman and CEO of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority broke his silence at at a meeting of the New York Building Congress, a powerful group of construction and real estate interests that could help his campaign, at the Mandarin Hotel near Columbus Circle.
Lhota, a Republican, was a top aide to Rudolph Giuliani when he was mayor.
Most recently, Lhota led the MTA and quit his job at the transportation agency on December 31 to explore a run for mayor.
It now seems his exploration period is over.
"I would not have left the MTA, a job and a position that I loved, if I wasn't going to run for mayor of New York," Lhota said in his Monday speech.
He later told reporters, "I think later this week I should be a full-fledged, filed candidate."
The former MTA leader did not want to say much more, saying he will not talk about the campaign until he filed papers to officially become a candidate.
In the past two weeks, he has been meeting with Republican leaders and a potential rival behind closed doors.
The president of the New York Building Congress, Richard Anderson, suggested he is a supporter when he said, "Who has a question for Mayor Lhota?"
Lhota's speech offered a possible preview of his campaign platform. He touted his leadership at the MTA, which he ran for a little over a year.
"I believe the MTA is one of the most transparent government agencies in the United States," he said.
Lhota also praised the agency for its performance during Hurricane Sandy.
"If you agree that the MTA is in a better position today than it was a year ago, then imagine what I can do in my future with a much more complex organization," he said.
Despite his strong statements, Lhota will still make a formal announcement soon, where he will officially declare himself a candidate for mayor.