MTA Chairman reportedly stepping down for mayoral run
MTA Chairman Joe Lhota will step down from his position to consider running for mayor in next year’s election, according to reports in the New York Times.
Lhota would reportedly run on a Republican ticket. His resignation would take effect on Friday.
While he has refused to discuss the possibility of a mayoral run, Lhota, formerly an executive vice president for the Madison Square Garden Company, has made mention of his business and economic acumen of late, which seems to be his biggest draw for his supporters.
Those supporters, including last week’s addition of state Conservation Party Chairman Mike Long, have emphasized his former position as deputy mayor and budget director under Rudy Giuliani. Lhota himself made mention at the recent Hudson Yards ground-breaking of his past experience in city government, essentially saying that he originally had the idea for Hudson Yards development at that time.
The Times reported that in a recent Quinnipiac poll, Lhota lost 60 to 9 against a random Democrat in a hypothetical mayoral race. While the MTA itself has been popular in recent surveys, with 75% of New Yorkers surveyed rating the agency’s storm response positively, Dan Amira at New York Magazine recently noted that the upcoming fare hike may not bode well for Lhota’s mayoral prospects, as they take effect just a few months before the election.
“He may campaign as the man who makes the trains run on time,” Amira wrote, “but voters might just see him as the guy who cost them another arm and leg at the MetroCard machine.”