New York, N.Y. – On a rainy morning on May 5th, Nicole Malliotakis, a Republican and sitting state Assembly member for Staten Island and a small part of Bay Ridge, announced her candidacy for mayor of the City of New York to a small crowd on the steps of City Hall.
Like most of the current crop of mayoral candidates, she criticized mayor Bill de Blasio for representing his own interests rather than the interests of New York City residents, playing on the mayor’s low approval rating and stating that he wants to use taxpayer money to “protect murderers and rapists from deportation.” Malliotakis criticized de Blasio’s support for New York’s remaining a sanctuary city and in a previous speech declared emphatically that no mayor should ever be allowed to destroy city-collected data, as de Blasio has said he will do with the information collected in connection with IDNYC, the mayor’s citywide ID program. Malliotakis is the first-generation daughter of immigrant parents from Cuba and Greece.
The Assemblywoman showed echoes of former mayor Rudolph Giuliani’s campaigns with a tough law and order stance, proposing a restarting of so-called “quality of life” arrests (i.e. public imbibing of alcohol, public intoxication, possession of small amounts of illicit psychoactive substances, etc.), stating that, as a woman, she is scared to walk alone at night because of the homeless and the mentally ill, citing their unpredictability. She displayed a strong stance on Riker’s Island stating that she would replace Corrections head Ponte with someone who will “show up for work.”
In response to a question, a short discussion was had about how she refunded a donation given to her by activist and 2017 Women’s March co-chair Linda Sarsour claiming that she did not share Sarsour’s values and stating that it would be hypocritical to critique her publically while still keeping the donation.
When asked about carriage horses, Malliotakis did not seem to have a strong opinion stating that perhaps restricting them to within Central Park would be preferable to having them walk heavily trafficked city streets.
Malliotakis lambasted the Affordable Care Act but did not provide details on what she would have fixed or preferred. The conservative tone of her campaign rollout could be an indicator that the GOP Assemblywoman may not, as some had predicted, choose to run a more moderate, centrist campaign in an effort to gain traction in a city with a 6:1 Democratic registration advantage. Malliotakis has the Conservative Party endorsement and will run on their ballot line in November.
In a light moment, a reporter called her opponent Paul Massey “Melba Toast” and asked what type of bread she would use to describe the GOP contender. Malliotakis responded with a smile: “Toast with no butter and no jam.”