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Big Lhota Donor, Home Depot Founder Ken Langone, Convinced De Blasio Will Be Next Mayor

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - The Republican nominee for New York City mayor is losing the faith of one of his biggest financial backers.

As WCBS 880's Marla Diamond reported, Home Depot founder Ken Langone has been of Joe Lhota's most important backers but said he's convinced Democratic nominee Bill de Blasio will be the city's next mayor.

Langone, 78, told the Wall Street Journal that recent polls showing de Blasio with a sizeable lead, plus a "multitude" of other factors have him convinced the Democrat will win on Nov. 5.

Big Lhota Donor, Home Depot Founder Ken Langone, Convinced De Blasio Will Be Next Mayor

Lhota shrugged off the billionaire businessman and philanthropist's assessment of the race.

"One thing you've got to know about Ken Langone - Ken Langone never minces words, he is not flowery in any of his words, he tells it like he sees it. I don't agree with him. I do believe that I have an opportunity to win," Lhota told Diamond. "We will continue to fundraise every single day and we'll raise enough to be able to spend the max."

De Blasio's campaign has raised nearly twice as much as Lhota's since the Sept. 10 primary, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Lhota was given a warm reception by business leaders during his speech to the Association for a Better New York on Tuesday.

He said he is banking on the debates to get his message out.

"When I look at the spreads where Bill is and where I am, how inconsistent it is with the issues and where the people stand on the issues," Lhota told Diamond.

A series of three debates begin next week.

De Blasio has held 40- and 50-point leads in recent polls, but as many as 17,000 parents, students and others held a rally Tuesday voicing opposition to de Blasio's position on charter schools.

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