STATEN ISLAND — Attorney Richard Luthmann has officially tossed his bow-tie into the race for Staten Island borough president.
The dapper dressing native Staten Islander officially announced his decision to run for the Democratic nomination against retired public school teacher Louis Liedy Tuesday. He said he collected well over the 2,000 signatures required to get on the ballot.
“I am thrilled that so many voters on Staten Island are already supporting my candidacy for Staten Island Borough President,” Luthmann said in a release. “I want to thank them and, more importantly, I am looking forward to working for them and representing them.”
While the next deadline to file campaign finance contributions is July 11, Luthmann said he expects to have more than $10,000 in his war chest.
So far, Liedy has not filed any contributions, according to the New York City Campaign Finance Board.
Luthmann said, if elected, he would address the difficulty in getting across Staten Island by creating a transportation loop to connect the North Shore, Mid-Island and express bus routes in the borough. He'd also look at an elevated bypass from the South Shore to the Verrazano Narrows Bridge.
The elevated road would attempt to calm the traffic on Hylan Boulevard and make it easier to get across the borough, Luthmann said.
“It’s easier to get to the Bronx than it is to get to Tottenville for many of the Island’s residents and I want to fix that,” he said.
He would also look at reassessing the rates of water and property tax bills for Staten Island residents.
The winner of the primary between Liedy and Luthmann will face off against Republican James Oddo for the seat, currently filled by James Molinaro, who will be term-limited out of office at the end of the year.
If either of them secure a win against Oddo it would be the first time in nearly 30 years that a Democrat has held the borough presidency in the largely Republican Staten Island.
"I am running to be the Borough President because the people of Staten Island deserve better choices than what the old party bosses on this Island serve up year in and year out," Luthmann said.
"I want to be Staten Island's Borough President because I understand how to use the position to advocate for Staten Island in a way that the entrenched political machinery has not been willing or able to do for the past 30 years."