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Ex-Transit Chief Makes Mayoral Run Official

by Associated Press
A A

Wally Gobetz, flickr

Lhota Appears to Republican Front Runner

The former transit official who led the New York City subway system's recovery from Superstorm Sandy filed paperwork Thursday making his bid for mayor official.

Former Metropolitan Transportation Authority Chairman Joseph Lhota appears to be leading among Republican candidates vying to replace Mayor Michael Bloomberg, but will be challenged by Democrats in a city where they're strong

Lhota is a 58-year-old Bronx native who grew up on Long Island. A graduate of Georgetown University and Harvard Business School, he's the son of a New York police lieutenant.

He supports same-sex marriage and abortion rights, but is considered fiscally conservative - in favor of keeping the lid on city spending.

Under Rudy Giuliani, Lhota was a deputy mayor and budget director. He later went into business as a top executive at Cablevision and Madison Square Garden and took on the MTA post in 2011.

With Bloomberg term-limited, the field for November's election already includes several other declared and likely candidates - including City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio and Bill Thompson, a former city comptroller. All are Democrats.

Lhota stands out as a public official who says what he thinks - bluntly.  He once displayed his middle finger to a reporter at City Hall.

On the day of the Sept. 11 terrorist attack, he rushed to lower Manhattan to help direct traffic amid the emergency.

After Hurricane Sandy, Lhota is credited with saving subway service by shutting down the system before the storm.

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