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June 29, 2017 / Brooklyn news / Party Line

Massey is out, leaving Malliotakis clear path to GOP mayoral nom

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He’s been priced out of the market!

Millionaire Republican mayoral candidate Paul Masseymy former soccer coach — abruptly dropped out of the race on Wednesday, leaving Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis (R–Bay Ridge) as the front-runner candidate for the Grand Old Party.

Massey, who was an executive at the real estate company Cushman and Wakefield and who hailed from Westchester County with a house in Cape Cod, said he couldn’t keep up with the price tag of trying to oust incumbent Mayor DeBlasio.

“Unfortunat­ely, the cost of running for office is extraordinary, and I do not see a path to raising the necessary funds to beat an incumbent mayor,” Massey said in a statement. “I am forever indebted to my family, team, and my friends for their support.”

Massey’s departure leaves Malliotakis as the Republican favorite with a slew of support from the Brooklyn Republican Party, New York State Conservative Party, newly re-appointed Metropolitan Transportation Authority chairman and former nominee Joe Lhota, and Rep. Dan Donavan (R–Bay Ridge).

But with one less candidate in the race, she will now be able to focus her attention to holding DeBlasio accountable, said Malliotakis, who referred to Massey as a “gentleman.”

“Whether it’s yesterday’s A train derailment, our failing schools, or an out-of-control homeless crisis, I will take these issues to the Mayor,” Malliotakis said in a statement. “I will challenge him on how he is running New York City into the ground and slowly returning it to the bad old days of the 1970s and ’80s. Yesterday, Bill DeBlasio refused to take questions about the derailment that injured dozens of New Yorkers. That is unacceptable. He may attempt to run and hide from the press, but he won’t be able to run from me.”

Malliotakis currently has $94,624 in her campaign coffers, according to city records, and Massey had raised $5.75 million, according to Politico.

• • •

Insurgent judicial candidate and newly exonerated Sunset Park attorney John O’Hara fears his overturned conviction will be used against him if the county Democratic machine challenges his eligibility to run for a seat on the bench in court.

“There’s a lot of rumor and buzz going on — they challenge people, this is what the machine does,” said O’Hara’s communications director Gary Tilzer. “They challenge people to not only kick them off the ballot but to tie up their campaign.”

O’Hara was convicted of voter fraud in 1997 for voting in the wrong district, in what he says was retaliation from then-District Attorney Charles Hynes for his political activism. After the conviction, his license to practice law was revoked, but his name was cleared in 2008 and he was reinstated in 2009.

Attorneys must have practiced law for 10 years in order to be elected to judgeship, and O’Hara has been a licensed lawyer for 14 years — though not consecutively. The law doesn’t explicitly require the 10 years to be consecutive, but O’Hara is certain that party boss Frank Seddio — or one of his allies — will go to court to try to use the interruption to try and keep him off the ballot and sabotage his insurgent slate of civil-court judicial candidates that is challenging party-backed incumbents, O’Hara said.

“So the statute does not say consecutive, but it does leave room for interpreta­tion,” he said. “This is what the county does for insurgents.”

The party’s executive director Jeff Feldman denies the rumor, saying that he has no intention of challenging O’Hara’s standing, but Tilzer said he’s calling Feldman’s bluff and still gearing up to fight back.

“They can say they don’t plan to challenge, and someone out of left field challenges it,” Tilzer said. “Someone they say they’re not connected to challenges it.”

O’Hara’s slate includes attorneys Isiris Isela Isaac, Patrick Hayes, Thomas Kennedy, and Sandra Roper — who ran a failed bid for District Attorney against Hynes in 2001, and whose own allegedly retaliatory felony theft charges were later dropped.

• • •

The mud-slinging never ends in Bay Ridge!

Bay Ridge Republican Council candidate Liam McCabe penned an open letter to his rival John Quaglione calling him out for only collecting petitions that benefit himself and not the entire Grand Old Party.

“John, I think you can do better than this. I am calling on you to be a leader in the GOP and collect signatures for your local district leaders, county committee members, and candidates for public office. We are all on the same team with respect to having a strong local Republican Party,” McCabe wrote in the letter published last week. “You and I running against each other in a Republican Primary makes us competitors for City Council. However, this competition cannot prevent us from standing side by side and acting in the best interest of the Party, which is to elect a slate of candidates and party officials that share our ideology.”

Candidates started hitting the streets and subway stops earlier this month collecting signatures on their petitions in order to secure a spot on the ballot for the September primary. Kings County Republican chairman Ted Ghorra created the “petition together” campaign that would allow each of the candidates to collect signatures for themselves, but it would include the names of the county and district-wide candidates for the party.

But Quaglione’s campaign ditched the togetherness and went around collecting signatures on what’s called “bullet petitions” with just his name on them, charged McCabe.

“When one side is helping out the other and the other is not reciprocating, that’s sort of what led to some frustration,” he said during a phone call on June 27.

Quaglione’s campaign did not deny using “bullet petitions,” and instead sent an e-mailed response from a former Bay Ridge district leader.

“I know John to be a team player and am certain he wants all the candidates to get on the ballot and be successful in November,” said Republican Bob Howe.

The third Republican in the race, Bob Capano, took aim at his competitors’ squabble, calling them both out for not focusing on the issues that really matter to voters.

“Their political insiders’ spat show’s they are stuck in a political clubhouse mentality and don’t understand the real and immediate problems we face,” said Capano. “While they squabble, I’ll continue to talk about cutting taxes, keeping our streets safe, and making sure a jail doesn’t open in our community under the DeBlasio plan to close Rikers Island; the issues our community really cares about.”

• • •

Endorsement round-up:

Liam McCabe recently received support from the Brooklyn Tea Party and the Brooklyn Teen Republicans. He also has the endorsements of Rep. Dan Donovan (R–Bay Ridge) and former state Sen. David Storobin (R–Sheepshead Bay)

Councilman Chaim Deutsch (D–Sheepshead Bay), who is fending off a challenge from his cousin-in-law Kalman Yeger, locked up the endorsements of a handful of his colleagues, including councilmembers Mark Levine (D–Manhattan), Elizabeth Crowley (D–Queens), Andy Cohen (D–Bronx), Stephen Levin (D–Brooklyn Heights), Rory Lancman (D–Queens), and Joe Borelli (R–Staten Island). He also has the support of Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito (D–Bronx) and his predecessor, the former Councilman Mike Nelson (D–Sheepshead Bay).

Reach reporter Julianne Cuba at (718) 260–4577 or by e-mail at jcuba@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @julcuba.
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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