Mayoral candidate talks bringing business back to NYC: ‘First thing we need to do is get public safety back’

New York City mayoral candidate Fernando Mateo said he believes Republicans have “not a fighting chance, a winning chance” in the mayor’s race this year given what he sees as ineptitudes from Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo. 

Mateo, a native of the Dominican Republic, has long served as head of the state Federation of Taxi Drivers, and more recently took a leadership role with the Bodegas Association of America 

“There’s a turning point going on right now, but we need to have the right Republican running for office,” the taxi and bodega advocate told Fox News in an interview Saturday.

In the 2017 race for mayor, de Blasio won a second term with 66.17 percent of the vote. Republican Malliotakis, now serving in the House, earned only 27.59 percent. 


“The guy has been clueless since he took office,” Mateo said of the city’s Democrat mayor. “He has had no leadership, he has been bullied and pummeled by Cuomo. Cuomo has been the governor and he’s also been the mayor.” The two New York Democrats have a long-running feud that boiled over during the coronavirus pandemic.  

Meanwhile, Mateo said that Cuomo’s career in politics is “done” after the revelations of his mishandling of nursing homes. 

He said he jumped into the race because the Democratic candidates are “basically a continuation of de Blasio.” 

“We don’t need that, our city is in shambles– crime is through the roof, our economy is underground right now, we need to get small businesses back,” he said, noting that 80,000 had closed as a result of the pandemic. 

“First thing we need to do is get public safety back. No one wants to be in a city that isn’t safe,” he continued. 

Mateo said he would add “thousands” of NYPD officers to the streets and work to restructure the city’s bail reform law. 

Under New York City’s bail laws enacted last year, a slew of ‘non-violent’ offenses are not bail-eligible, allowing those who allegedly commit crimes such as burglaries, domestic abuse cases and even second-degree manslaughter, to walk free until their trial dates.


“It’s not helping those who commit minor crime and deserve bail reform. This was not put together the right way, we opened up the jails and let every gun-toting criminal out on the street,” said Mateo. 

Mateo said he believes Cuomo’s career in politics is “over.” He said that Cuomo has been “out of touch,” throughout the pandemic, recalling when the governor implored rich New Yorkers to return to the city. “I’ll buy you a drink!” he told them in August. “First of all there’s nowhere to buy them a drink because he shut everything down so that’s very hypocritical of him,” Mateo said.  

Mateo said that Cuomo “deserves everything that’s happening to him,” with the firestorm he’s facing for the nursing home scandal after shutting down businesses that had broken his stringent protocol for restaurants. “‘Why would you do that? People are struggling, don’t kick them while they’re down.”

“I believe his career in politics is done, it is over. When you can’t admit that you made a mistake that cost thousands of people their lives, this will follow him and haunt him for the rest of his career, the rest of his life.” 

Mateo will face off in the Republican primary in June against crime stopper organization Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa and financier Sara Tirschwell. Sliwa and Tirschwell 

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