Catsimatidis family torn over Republican NYC mayoral primary



A Cats fight has broken out over who in the Republican Party should run for mayor.

The Catsimatidis family is torn over the issue, with billionaire GOP donor John and his daughter Andrea, who heads up the Manhattan party, each supporting different candidates.

The elder Cats has thrown in with Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa, while Andrea Catsimatidis is backing taxi drivers and bodegas advocate Fernando Mateo.

“She’s not talking to me. I think maybe because of this issue,” John Catsimatidis told The Post.

The supermarket magnate and wife Margo are planning to host a fundraiser to mark Sliwa’s’ 67th birthday at Empire Steakhouse on Tuesday. Live entry is $150 a pop (with Zoom invites going for $67), and a $2,000 check will get you dinner with the red-bereted vigilante himself.

“As far as the Republicans are concerned, I’m with Curtis,” John Catsimatidis confirmed.

Curtis Sliwa
Sliwa, the founder of the Guardian Angels, has the backing of the Staten Island and Brooklyn GOP.
Matthew McDermott

Andrea Catsimatidis, meanwhile feted New York Reps. Nicole Malliotakis and Andrew Garbarino and Florida’s Kat Cammack in Midtown two weeks ago. Both Mateo and Sliwa stopped by as well.

But John Catsimatidis told The Post that his daughter specifically asked him not to attend.

“All families have disagreements,” Andrew Giuliani, who was there, told The Post, downplaying the drama. “The Giulianis have had them — some on the covers of the New York Post — for years.”

Andrea Catsimatidis did not respond to request for comment.

The city party is also divided. Sliwa has the backing of the Staten Island and Brooklyn GOP, while Mateo has rolled up Manhattan, the Bronx and Queens.

Andrea Catsimatidis
Andrea Catsimatidis is not talking to her father over the rift, he said.
Stephen Yang

Friends and advisors of Andrea say she’s looking to break out from her father’s shadow and his dusty coterie of longtime aides and political fixers. They insist that she and the Manhattan party ultimately went with Mateo because he was the better bet.

“Curtis only appeals to the hardened base of the Republican party whereas Fernando is much better positioned to build the coalition we would need to win in November,” Robert Morgan Jr., a GOP district leader, told The Post.

Team John, however, was dismissive, saying Mateo would be a favorite of the consultant class only looking to cash in on the race, rather than what they say will be the far leaner effort by Sliwa — a Gotham icon. (The Guardian Angels leader is already planning to forgo an NYPD police detail in favor of his own troops.)

Fernando Mateo
Mateo is an advocate of taxi drivers and bodegas.
Matthew McDermott

They’re also worried about past Mateo baggage, including secretly fundraising for Mayor de Blasio and his upper Manhattan restaurant La Marina being shuttered in 2019 after scores of violations and a manager busted on drug charges.

The GOP primary will be held on June 22. The winner will face the Democratic nominee in the November general election.


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