The city’s real estate developers could provide a significant boost to any of the mayoral hopefuls, so several candidates mingled with New York’s power brokers at the Real Estate Board of New York’s 117th annual dinner at the swanky New York Hilton on Thursday night.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg made a brief appearance before trotting down the street to meet Anderson Cooper at CNN for an interview, but former MTA Chairman Joe Lhota, Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio and former City Comptroller Bill Thompson all stopped by the cocktail hour, along with Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly.
The other candidates rushed out but Lhota stayed the longest, grabbing a seat on the dais near REBNY board members for the two-hour dinner. The crowd appeared most receptive to Quinn, who has emerged as a favorite of the real estate industry, but Lhota had the most to gain from working the wavering industry titans.
One developer source was skeptical, saying “it will be very hard to win in this race by taking matching funds, but if he jumped in this race a year ago he’d be better off.”
But state Sen. Marty Golden believes Lhota stands a good chance of gaining support and winning in a four-way general election. “These people want someone who can manage the city, they’re looking for a financial captain, a leader who can go out and lead, somebody who’s done it already.”