STATEN ISLAND — City Councilman James Oddo has officially announced his plan to run for borough president on Staten Island.
The Republican councilman launched his campaign for the office, which will be left open by a term-limited James Molinaro at the end of this year, at an event in his alma mater Monsignor Farrell High School on Sunday, the Staten Island Advance reported.
"I will cherish the privilege. I will make the sacrifices. I will relish the responsibilities,” Oddo said, according to the Advance. “I want the burden.”
If elected, Oddo, 47, pledged to push for toll relief, the North Shore and West Shore rail lines and healthcare equality, the Advance reported.
"They may want to install a separate phone line just for me," he said of the city's next mayor.
He also drafted a plan of “100 Ideas for Staten Island’s Future,” which include creating a Borough Betterment Corps, building 1,000 senior housing units and hiring an unpaid surgeon general to advise him on health issues.
Oddo told the crowd that he initially wanted to run for the office in 2009, but stepped aside when Molinaro’s term limits were extended, the Advance reported. Since 2007, Oddo has raised nearly $350,000 in campaign funds for his borough president run, according to the New York City Campaign Finance Board.
Oddo was first elected to the City Council in 1999.
No other candidates have announced plans to run for the office, and no one else is listed as having raised funds for the borough president's spot, according to campaign finance records.
Oddo’s campaign website has already switched to focus on his borough president run, but so far it just has a picture of him with a large banner in the background that reads “It’s a New Day.”