New York State Rep. Nicole Malliotakis is running for mayor of New York City as an uncontested Republican.
She will likely face incumbent Mayor Bill de Blasio, the first-term Democrat who is running for re-election.
New Yorkers are voting in the primary election on Tuesday and de Blasio is expected to win the nomination. De Blasio’s main challenger is Sal Albanese, a former city councilman. Other Democrats running for the office are Michael Tolkin, Richard Bashner and Robert Gangi but did not garner enough support to participate in the recent Democratic mayoral debate.
Malliotakis currently serves on the State Assembly, representing parts of Brooklyn and Staten Island. She is running on several key issues that have plagued de Blasio during his first term: fixing the transit system, providing better care for seniors, getting tough on crime, treating mental illness, illegal immigration and improving public education.
“Everything in New York is deteriorating under this mayor,” she told the New York Post.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Malliotakis is just 36 years old.
If elected, Malliotakis would be one of the youngest mayors to govern New York City and its more than 8.5 million residents.
John P. Mitchel was 34 years old when he took office in 1914.
Malliotakis has taken jabs at De Blasio, who is 56 and has been known to take naps during the day. She even ran after him at a recent campaign event and tried to give him an energy drink, according to the New York Post. De Blasio refused it.
“It shows that not only is he lazy and incompetent, but he’s rude,” Malliotakis told reporters at the time.
2. Malliotakis would be the first female elected as mayor of New York City.
Nicole Malliotakis is not the first woman to run for mayor of New York City. Christine Quinn, who was elected to the City Council in 1999 and served as speaker from 2006 to 2013, ran for mayor against de Blasio and lost. Democrat Ruth Messinger ran in 1997 and Diane McGrath-McKechnie, a Republican, ran in 1985.
This summer Malliotakis told the Gotham Gazette that she didn’t want to focus on her gender in her bid to become mayor.
“I’m very proud to carry this banner, and it’s really an honor. But I don’t think people should vote for me because I’m a woman,” Malliotakis said. “I think it’s great. I would love to see more women coalesce around me, as the female candidate in the race, but certainly I believe that I should be judged on my policies, and what I put forward. I think I have some really good ideas for this city, and I think that I’ve presented many ideas over my time in the New York State Assembly.”
Malliotakis is the first Hispanic woman to run for mayor of New York City.
3. Her father is Greek and her mother is Cuban.
Her mother fled Cuba shortly after Fidel Castro came to power in 1959. Her father was born in Crete and arrived in the United States in 1962.
Nicole’s father is from Greece and her mother is a Cuban exile of the Castro dictatorship. Her parents came to New York in search of the American Dream, and through their hard work, they attained a modest living as owners of a small business in Brooklyn. Their dedication and entrepreneurial spirit instilled a sense of ambition in Nicole that has inspired her life in public service.
Malliotakis says she will be tough on illegal immigrants who commit crimes in New York City. “While Nicole will continue the immigration policy put in place by Mayor Ed Koch and continued through Mayor Bloomberg, Nicole has been leading the opposition against Bill de Blasio’s policy of protecting individuals who are here illegally and have committed crimes against other immigrants and citizens,” her campaign website says.
Malliotakis was elected to the State Assembly in 2010.
Malliotakis was elected to the New York State Assembly on November 2, 2010, defeating the incumbent, defeated incumbent Janele Hyer-Spencer.
She represents District 64 in Brooklyn and Staten Island. She was the first Hispanic-American elected from Richmond County. In 2014, she ran unopposed in the Republican primary. She was re-elected to her third term in November 2014 with 73 percent of the vote.
During her first term in the Assembly, Nicole was named one of 2012’s “40 Under 40 Latino Rising Stars” by the Hispanic Coalition of New York, and one of Greek America’s “Forty Under 40” Class of 2012, according to her bio.
5. Malliotakis is currently single.
Malliotakis has been working long hours since she was elected to the State Assembly in 2010, and that hasn’t left her much time for a personal life.
She told the New York Post that she and her long-term boyfriend broke up before that race, “so that she could devote herself entirely to her political career. She declined to elaborate on or even name her ex.”
“I think it’s difficult for a woman in politics to date when you are in Albany for six months of the year,” she told The Post. “Once, I was on a date in Manhattan and had constituents from Staten Island at the next table.”
Still, she hasn’t ruled out settling down one day.
“Look, if the opportunity presented itself, I’d love to,” she said. “But right now I am focused on serving the people of New York City.”