De Blasio Challenged by Underdog Nicole Malliotakis in Mayoral Race
Nicole Malliotakis, the 36-year-old assemblywoman, is aggressively taking the on Mayor de Blasio for the 2017 election. The outspoken Republican candidate mocked the incumbent mayor last week in a publicity stunt. She chased de Blasio with a can of Red Bull energy drink, as he passed by her press conference. She told reporters that she wanted to help him stay awake, after reading in the Post that Hizzoner likes to nap during workdays. By contrast she says she rarely takes lunch or even bathroom breaks.
That’s not the only thing she attacked the mayor for. “Everything in New York is deteriorating under this mayor,” she said. Malliotakis vows to change New York. She wants to fix the city’s transit system, improve conditions for seniors, tackle crime and expand services for the mentally ill. Last week, an NYPD cop was shot by an emotionally disturbed 29-year-old. Police officer Hart Nguyen was saved by his bullet proof vest. “That’s what I mean about the violence in this city,” Malliotakis commented. “De Blasio lacks leadership. He is not helping the mentally ill who are attacking people on the subway and targeting the police.”
Malliotakis, the only daughter of Cuban and Greek immigrants, graduated from Seton Hall University, and then earned an MBA from Wagner College. She served as an aide to Gov. George Pataki and worked as a staffer to late Staten Island state Sen. John Marchi. She has served as a NY State Assemblywoman since 2011. “She always gets things done,” said Gov. Pataki. “As one of the only Republicans in New York City, she realized pretty early on that you had to reach across the aisle.”
As per the NY Post, Malliotakis was an unlikely contender for Mayor. She was an underdog when she registered in April as the first Hispanic woman running for mayor of NYC. Members of the Republican party labeled her as inexperienced, aloof and too independent. Republicans were originally rooting for Millionaire real-estate executive Paul Massey before he abruptly dropped out in June. Another popular contender was retired NYPD Detective Bo Dietl, but the Republican Party barred him for a filing error.
Malliotakis herself was busy with other aspirations. She made a bid for Congress when Staten Island Rep. Michael Grimm stepped down in 2015. But Republicans preferred to back former DA Dan Donovan, saying he had more experience. “Now Nicole is not waiting her turn,” said Adele Malpass, chair of the Manhattan Republican Party. “The grass-roots activists in the party were skeptical of her at first, but she has won everyone over,” says Malpass. “People are now blown away by how hard she works.”
Malliotakis also has backing from the Conservative Party. “The leaders respect Nicole’s capability as an assemblyperson,” said state Conservative
Party Chairman Mike Long. “She understands legislation, the law and budgets and how money is wasted in government. She’s going to surprise a lot of people.”
Malliotakis is devoting 12 hours a day to the Mayoral race, marching in parades, attending community dinners and meeting with activists. Malliotakis will need to work hard if she wants to compete with de Blasio’s $5 million of campaign funding. She has only $233,251 in her campaign treasuries, as per Friday’s campaign filings. Malliotakis doesn’t seem fazed. “I defeated an incumbent when I was outspent 2 to 1,” she said, referring to when she beat well-funded Democratic Assemblywoman Janele Hyer-Spencer. “I can do it again.”
Nicole Malliotakis, the 36-yearold assemblywoman, is aggressively taking the on Mayor de Blasio for the 2017 election