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GOP Lawmaker Behind Push to Preserve IDNYC Data Considering Mayoral Run

By Nicholas Rizzi | April 20, 2017 9:58am
 Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis said she's mulling a run for mayor against Bill de Blasio.
Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis said she's mulling a run for mayor against Bill de Blasio.
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DNAinfo/Nicholas Rizzi

STATEN ISLAND — A Republican assemblywoman who recently sued the city to preserve IDNYC records is considering a run against Bill de Blasio for mayor.

State Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis, who represents parts of Staten Island and Bay Ridge, said she's mulling a run for the city's top office to fight for residents who are against many of de Blasio's policies, the New York Post first reported.

"I think that many New Yorkers would disagree with the handling of Rikers Island and the homeless crisis. They would reject the ideas of both jails and homeless shelters being placed in their neighborhoods," Malliotakis told DNAinfo New York. "I think that somebody needs to be the spokesperson and the advocate of the taxpayer."

Malliotakis, the daughter of Cuban and Greek immigrants, recently had some tussles with the mayor over several policies. She and Assemblyman Ron Castorina Jr. filed a suit against the city over its policy of deleting application data gathered when people apply for IDNYC identification cards, arguing it poses a safety risk if the information is destroyed. 

A judge recently ruled in favor of the city, but the assemblymembers plan to file an appeal on the decision.

Malliotakis also blamed de Blasio for potentially costing the city millions in federal funds by ignoring the Trump administration's stance on "sanctuary cities," urging the Department of Justice to pull the funding over the city's noncompliance with Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

"If our mayor is not going to comply with the law then we're going to need to change the mayor," she said. "It's outrageous that we have a mayor who is not complying with the law and is not putting the public safety of New Yorkers first."

Asked about her similar comments on WNYC's Brian Lehrer Show last month, de Blasio dismissed her claims as "right-wing rhetoric," the Staten Island Advance reported.

"Assemblymember Malliotakis, who loves to spew right-wing rhetoric, obviously has not spoken to Police Commissioner O'Neill, who is the individual who gave the instruction to our police officers not to ask for documentation status, not to participate with ICE except under situations dedicated by local law regarding those 170 offenses," de Blasio said. 

Malliotakis, who has been in the state Assembly since 2010, said her recent appearance talking about sanctuary cities on Brian Lehrer is what helped her think about the race. A Facebook page urging her to run has received more than 1,000 likes.

"I received a lot of calls from people who are not even my constituents encouraging me," she said. "They feel like they don't have a voice, that this mayor will not care for them."

She hasn't yet decided if she'll mount a run on the Republican ticket, and is waiting for her friend John Catsimatidis and former mayoral candidate to decide if he'll again throw his hat in the race.

"We are friends not looking to run against each other," Malliotakis said. "I'm strongly considering it if [Catsimatidis] does not jump in."