Joe Lhota reaches out to kingmaker Al Sharpton

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Republican Mayoral candidate Joe Lhota demonstrated he’s a candidate of inclusion by  reaching out to the man his former boss snubbed for eight years.  A deputy mayor under Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Lhota stepped into democratic territory to meet with the Rev. Al Sharpton at the Harlem headquarters of his National Action Network.

The two met for 25 minutes in a meeting Sharpton described as “candid and cordial.” He said they discussed many issues, including education, housing and stop and frisk.  Sharpton would not elaborate of the policing discussion.  In contrast to his Democratic rival Bill DeBlasio who wants to end stop and frisk, Lhota sees it as an important policing tool he would keep.  Lhota said he didn’t come to seek Sharpton’s endorsement but to open a dialogue and talk about the issues. Sharpton did not say if or when he would support candidate.

Lhota Sharpton

Noting that Lhota’s visit was in sharp contrast to the snub by Giuliani, Sharpton said he wasn’t going to draw comparisons and “take shots.”  Lhota was emphatic his would not be the “third term of Giuliani or the fourth term of Bloomberg. It will be the first term of Joe Lohta,”

Lhota said the meeting was the first of many discussions he intends to have with Sharpton, who invited Lhota to speak to members of his National Action Network.