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Lhota Shifts Focus To General Election After GOP Mayoral Primary Win

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Republican Joseph Lhota is now focusing on the general election after a solid victory over John Catsimatidis and George McDonald in the GOP primary. NY1's Courtney Gross filed the following report.

Joseph Lhota is focused on the general election, securing a solid victory in Tuesday night's Republican primary.

"Tonight represents a mile marker on a road to victory in November," Lhota said.

Lhota defeated Gristedes owner John Catsimatidis in the primary.

"I want to thank all of you and all of you that worked so hard, and I wanted it to come through not just for myself, but for all of you," Catsimatidis said.

Often under the radar, the Republican primary between Lhota and Catsimatidis was nasty at times.

Catsimatidis, a billionaire, spent millions of dollars of his own personal fortune on his bid, much of which was on attack ads slamming Lhota.

Lhota, the former chair of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, was a deputy mayor during the Giuliani administration. The former mayor himself stumped with Lhota on the trail.

In his victory speech, Lhota said it was time for the entire party to come together.

"It is time to unify our party, strengthen it and prepare it for a victory in November," he said.

Catsimatidis secured the ballot line of the Liberal Party, meaning he could continue his bid to the general election. On Tuesday night, it was unclear if he would.

"I don't know," he said. "Tomorrow is another day."

As for Lhota, he wasted no time hitting the Democrats, taking a shot at Bill de Blasio in particular.

"Over the next two months, New Yorkers will see two completely different visions for the future of our city," he said. "I'm hearing an awful lot coming from the other side about a tale of two cities and how they want to tear down the progress that's happened over the last 20 years. This tale is nothing more than class warfare."

Lhota may have history on his side. A Democrat has not been elected to City Hall in about two decades. ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP