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Republican Mayoral Candidates Push For GOP Primary Voter Turnout On SI

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Republican mayoral candidates Joe Lhota and John Catsimatidis were both on Staten Island Monday, focusing their efforts on the borough with the highest concentration of GOP voters to push for turnout in Tuesdsay's primary. NY1's Zack Fink filed the following report.

The Mount Loretto Friendship Club of Staten Island hosted to back-to-back visits from Joe Lhota and John Catsimatidis on Monday.

Lhota brought Italian Cookies, and Catsimatidis brought donuts, although he didn't actually hand them out himself.

Both gifts are a gentle reminder that the candidates are counting on Republican primary voters showing up Tuesday.

"I think the most important thing I'm trying to do today and tomorrow is get out the vote. The issues have been out there, where I stand on all kinds of issues, get out the vote is the most important," Lhota said.

"Don't forget we're going to have about 50,000 people voting. We had about 28,000 petition signers, and our 700 people are chasing those 28,000 petition signers to get them to the polls," Catsimatidis said.

Although technically there are more registered Democrats than Republicans on Staten Island, the borough is still considered the base for Republican politics in New York City.

When Mayor Michael Bloomberg ran for the first time as a Republican in 2001, for example, he received more than 75 percent of the vote in the borough.

After calling out the bingo numbers, Catsimatidis kept his message short and simple.

"We need a safe city, and we need a city with less taxes," Catsimatidis said.

Lhota's message hearkened back to when he served in city government and was delivered not by Lhota, but by Assemblyman Joe Borelli.

"Some of you may remember the good old days. Do you remember a guy named Rudy Giuliani?" Borelli said.

Lhota has called the personal attacks from Catsimatidis "desperate."

"John's proven that he'll say anything in this campaign. I think this campaign needs to stay on issues. The people of New York deserve to have a serious candidate talking about serious issues that all New Yorkers are faced with," Lhota said.

"They put up a television commercial, 'John is not telling the truth.' What do you mean I'm not telling the truth? The first commercial said, 'He raised the tolls.' True? True. He called the people mall cops. True? True."

George McDonald is also on the ballot and has been included in some, but not all, of the debates.

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