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Lhota Says He Plans To Kick Off Mayoral Campaign This Week

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Former Metropolitan Transportation Authority head Joseph Lhota said Monday that he plans to kick off his mayoral campaign later in the week.

Lhota did not make any formal announcement about his planned pursuit of City Hall as he addressed the New York Building Congress, but he stated his plans in no uncertain terms.

"I should tell you I'm not going to talk that much about my future, but I'll tell you this," Lhota said, "I would not have left the MTA – a job and a position that I loved – if I wasn't going to run for mayor of New York."

Lhota told WCBS 880 he plans to make his campaign official this week.

"I think later this week, I should be a full-fledged, filed candidate," Lhota said.

Lhota, a Republican, served as Rudy Giuliani's budget director, finance commissioner and deputy mayor for operations during Giuliani's term as mayor from 1994 until 2001. Giuliani has said he'd endorse Lhota if he decides to run for mayor.

Lhota stepped down from the MTA at the end of December to consider a run for the city's top office.

Lhota earned high marks for his leadership in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy. He was widely praised for his quick restoration of the subway system after the storm.

He also has extensive experience in business, banking and city government, and is the son of an NYPD lieutenant.

Others mulling a run for the Republican nod are supermarket magnate John Catsimatides, publisher Tom Allon and homeless advocate George McDonald.

Former Democratic Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion, Jr. recently left the party to run either as an independent or a Republican.

On the Democratic side, city council Speaker Christine Quinn is widely considered the front-runner though she has not formally announced her candidacy. Comptroller John Liu and public advocate Bill de Blasio are also considered possible candidates. Former city comptroller Bill Thompson is officially running for the job.

Former Democratic city councilman Sal Albanese also announced this month that he has filed the official paperwork to run for mayor.

Who do you back so far to replace Mayor Bloomberg at City Hall? Sound off in the comments section below...

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