He has business degree from Harvard, a Wall Street background, major experience as a Deputy Mayor, and service as Chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
But even that kind of pedigree wasn’t enough for 59-year old Joe Lhota to make a significant dent in Bill DeBlasio’s lead in the race for Mayor of New York City.
Lhota, a Bronx native and the son of a former NYPD officer, made his concession speech at 9:45 pm Tuesday.
“I have made a phone call to Mayor-elect de Blasio,” Lhota announced to a small room filled with supporters. “He is going to be the 109th Mayor of New York City.”
Lhota made a joke about not using his family in campaign ads, a tool de Blasio utilized successfully, to argue against the NYPD’s controversial stop-and-frisk policy. Lhota had indicated he would continue that policy to keep crime down.
“I have fought the good fight,” Lhota said, quoting from scripture, a letter from Saint Paul to Timothy. “I have kept the faith.”
Ironically, a pop song called “Don’t Stop Believing” was booming from the speaker system, before Lhota emerged to make his speech. That was the same song played in the final scene from the hit series, “The Sopranos,” when the character, Tony Soprano, may or may not have gotten whacked.
There’s no disputing that Joe Lhota took a political whacking Tuesday night. But Lhota always knew winning would be a difficult task in a city that seemed to yearn for a sharp change in direction from the Michael Bloomberg administration, as successful as it was.