Former Gov. George Pataki announced on Thursday that he is endorsing John Catsimatidis, the billionaire owner of the Gristedes supermarket chain, in the mayoral race.
"John Catsimatidis has the skills, the vision and the courage needed to lead New York City. He'll make a great mayor and that's why I am endorsing him today," Pataki said in a statement.
"John Catsimatidis isn't a career politician," he added.
The endorsement puts Pataki at odds with former Mayor Rudy Giuliani who has backed Joe Lhota, former MTA chairman, the New York Times reports.
Catsimatidis' $3 billion fortune may put him at an advantage ahead of his competitors. He has already spent $260,000 on his campaign in his first two months in the race, according to the Times.