Staten Island Republican Leader Drops Lhota After Unreturned Calls: Report

By Nicholas Rizzi on February 12, 2013 4:10pm | Updated on February 12, 2013 6:52pm

 Former Staten Island Borough President and power broker for the borough's Republicans, Guy Molinari, has dropped support for Joe Lhota's run for mayor because of unreturned phone calls.
Former Staten Island Borough President and power broker for the borough's Republicans, Guy Molinari, has dropped support for Joe Lhota's run for mayor because of unreturned phone calls.
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DNAinfo/Jill Colvin

STATEN ISLAND — Former Staten Island Borough President Guy Molinari has dropped his support for Joe Lhota's run for mayor, after Lhota stopped returning Molinari's phone calls, according to a report.

Molinari, a power broker for the Staten Island Republicans, said that he switched his support to Adolfo Carrion, because Lhota's campaign did not return Molinari's calls about setting up a press conference, the Staten Island Advance reported.

"It's not a campaign I want to be a part of," Molinari told the Advance.

Molinari previously told the Advance he planned to support Lhota, a former MTA chairman, and was just waiting to iron out the details. But he said this week that he switched to the former Democratic Bronx borough president Carrion, who will run on the Republican line, because Carrion constantly reached out to him.

"We have one man who keeps calling, while I can't get a call back from these other guys," Molinari told the Advance. "It's quite a comparison. The man I don't support is calling me all the time."

And for an extra bit of payback, Molinari did not call Lhota about the change in alignment before telling the paper about it.

"They haven't called me," he told the Advance. "I'm not calling them."

Lhota said that the seeing the news in the paper came as a surprise for him.

"I have the utmost respect for Guy Molinari, but to read about his announcement in the press was very surprising," Lhota said in a statement.

However, even with the loss of Molinari, the head of the Staten Island GOP hasn't been swayed away from his support of Lhota.

“I can only tell you as chairman that I’m leaning towards an endorsement of Joe Lhota, and from that perspective nothing has changed,” Robert Scarmadella, chair of the Staten Island GOP, told Politicker. “The most qualified for the job seems to be Joe Lhota.”

Molinari had been planning a press conference for last Thursday to formally endorse Lhota in Bay Terrace, the Advance reported. But Molinari said Lhota never called to confirm and the conference never happened.

"What the hell is going on?" Molinari told the Advance. "They're making me look bad. I still don't have the courtesy of a stupid phone call."

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