GOP Seeking Hero

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I saw the movie “The Avengers” this weekend. A character played by Samuel Jackson recruits superheroes to save the world. Shocking spoiler alert: they save the world.

Republicans in New York City are searching for their GOP superhero who will hold onto City Hall. Good luck!

New York may be dominated by Democrats, who hold a 6-1 registration advantage over Republicans.

But for 20 years a Republican has been mayor. So what gives?

Do New Yorkers want a “divided government” as a form of check and balance? Or maybe things run in cycles.
Before Rudy Giuliani succeeded David Dinkins, the city had not had a Republican mayor since John Lindsay in 1966 (and he eventually became a Democrat).

So now Republican County chairmen are doing a city-wide search for the next great GOP hope, deep pockets preferred.

Even better: superior polling. The first choice in that category might need some convincing. While Police Commissioner Ray Kelly is said to “contemplating” a run for mayor, he has never seemed enthusiastic about it. For one, elective political life rarely begins at 70. And the commissioner is very clear that he loves his day job, so much so that its his day, night, and weekend job. Good thing we don’t have to pay the commissioner OT.

Ray Kelly has built one of the most extraordinary law enforcement agencies in the nation, which in the era of terrorism now goes way beyond fighting crime.

But while crime figures continue to plunge to historic lows, a drumbeat of criticism has grown around the commissioner. It appears “stop and frisk” could become a campaign issue whether Kelly runs or not. And the tactics used in the Muslim community has put the NYPD on the defensive.

Does Kelly, after such a successful career, really want to be subject to a bruising campaign?

Perhaps it depends on how much pressure he feels. At least one potential GOP candidate has said he would sit out any race involving Kelly.

Billionaire supermarket magnate John Catsimatidis thought about a mayoral run in 2009, until Mike Bloomberg changed the law and ran for a third term.
Now he hopes to be among those convincing Kelly. He says he’s “in the bullpen” if Kelly doesn’t run.

New York City GOP county chairmen actually put out a press release that said they have a fall deadline for anyone looking to grab the GOP line.
They also appear to be beating the bushes, hoping other candidates might fall out. They say they interviewed newspaper publisher Tom Allon one night at Sparks Steak House.

County Chairman have others on their radar.

Among the names they say are being “bandied about in the press” were Dick Grasso, former Chairman of the New York Stock Exchange, State Senator Marty Golden, and two Democrats, former Councilmember Eva Moskowitz and former Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion.

They even mentioned the mayor’s girlfriend, Diana Taylor.
Grasso also is supporting Kelly, and wants to form one of those Super Pacs to come up with super bucks.

Marty Golden could be a formidable candidate. But his GOP State Senate colleagues who hold a razor-thin balance of power might be very unhappy trying to find a suitable replacement for him.

If she runs, Moskowitz does not seem interested in the Republican line. But party chairmen seem very much enamored with Carrion, whom they describe as a conservative Democrat.

There’s still plenty of time. The presidential race will keep the run for mayor on the back burner.

So commissioner Kelly can continue to “contemplate”. And John Catsimatidis can keep warming up in the bullpen.

As for those superheroes, they made a killing at the box office. None has declared a political inclination. But at least one out of six has to be a Republican.