Curtis Sliwa cruises to easy win over Mateo in Republican primary for NYC mayor
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Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa cruised to a big victory as the Republican nominee for mayor, handily defeating rival Fernando Mateo following a feisty and entertaining primary fight, according to Board of Election returns released Tuesday night.
“Curtis won and we want to unite the Republican Party and we hope Fernando Mateo will join us,” Sliwa senior campaign adviser Rob Cole told the Post.
It was a rout.
Sliwa captured 69 percent or 23,698 of the Republican votes to 27 percent or 9,292 votes for Mateo, a restaurateur who advocates for bodega owners and taxi drivers.
More than 82 percent of the precincts were reporting.
The mood was jubilant at the Sliwa campaign party at the Empire Steakhouse in Midtown, with Sliwa supporters donned the trademark red Guardian Angels berets as well as red Trump Save American hats.
Sliwa, 67, benefited from superior name recognition and key endorsements from former Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Staten Island Rep. Nicole Malliotakis, the sole Republican in the New York City congressional delegation.
“Curtis is the guy who can handle the crime problem,” Giuliani said at the victory party.
“Curtis is a great candidate. The energy, he out-campaigned everyone. Curtis is absolutely ready to be an excellent mayor. A mayor who will reform the city,” the former two-term GOP mayor said.
“And New York City needs a Republican mayor the way Chicago does, the way Philadelphia does, the way Baltimore does. The last time we had riots in this city is when we had a Democratic mayor. The last time we had this kind of crime in the city is when we had a Democrat mayor, I think New Yorkers are smart enough to get beyond ‘New Yorkers can’t vote for a [republican]. What are we communist China?”
He credited Sliwa with establishing the Guardian Angels civic crime patrols back in the 1980s when Ed Koch was mayor.
“It became a worldwide movement. He did a better job tackling crime than the mayor,” Giuliani said.
Mateo, 63, was endorsed by former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn.
The two Republican candidates threw mud at each other during spirited debates.
Sliwa sought to paint Mateo as “de Blasio Republican” for raising campaign cash for the Democratic mayor.
“You raised money for him, straw-purchased donors, which is illegal. You helped elect the man who single-handedly has destroyed this city,” Sliwa said during an April debate on WABC radio.
Mateo bundled money for de Blasio but wasn’t charged with any crime.
“Shame on you, Curtis. You lied. It’s fake news,” Mateo said.
Sliwa also rapped Mateo for blaming law enforcement for the closure of his restaurant on the Hudson River waterfront, La Marina, which filed for bankruptcy in 2019 over massive debt — and following the drug arrest of a manager.
“You were running a criminal enterprise,” Sliwa charged. “All of the sudden you discover you have love for the police.”
Mateo called Sliwa a “Never Trumper” who was a member of the Reform Party and only recently re-enrolled as a Republlcan. Sliwa voted for independent candidate Pierce Brosnan for president last year.
The Dominican Republic-born Mateo also said Sliwa “never owned a business. He’s lived off his nonprofit … You live off the Guardian Angels.”
Sliwa, an animal rights activist, was a radio host at 77 WABC before running for mayor.
Mateo qualified for $2 milion in public matching funds and bludgeoned Sliwa on the airwaves in the final days of the race. Sliwa did not qualify for matching funds.
He was also endorsed by the Manhattan, Queens and Bronx Republican parties. Sliwa was backed by the Staten Island and Brooklyn GOP.
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