Jessica Gould covers politics and public finance for WNYC.
For Candidates, Columbus Day Parade Is Full of Politics
Monday, October 14, 2013
At the Columbus Day parade, mayoral candidates Bill de Blasio and Joe Lhota celebrated their Italian heritage and participated in some political pageantry.
Meeting amid the brass bands and baton twirlers along the parade route, Governor Andrew Cuomo hugged the Democratic nominee, calling him Mayor de Blasio.
When Cuomo was Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, he chose de Blasio to be his representative for New York and New Jersey. At the parade, the governor called de Blasio's work at H.U.D. "extraordinary."
But the governor also offered praise for de Blasio's opponent. Cuomo tapped Lhota to serve as chairman of the MTA in 2011, and said the Republican did "a very good job" while at the authority's helm.
Meanwhile, as Joe Lhota made his way down Fifth Avenue, he posed for photographs with police commissioner Ray Kelly.
Lagging in polls, he said he believes New Yorkers agree with him on issues like stop-and-frisk and charter schools. He said he expected to communicate those views to voters in Tuesday night's debate. "We'll be standing toe-to-toe, talking about visions for the future − his vision, my vision − and I'm very, very comfortable that my vision for the future is more aligned with the majority of New Yorkers than his is," Lhota said.