Hey, if Donald Trump can do it, why can’t John Catsimatides? After all, Cats— as he’s known on the campaign trail not only has the money, but he has experience running a mayoral campaign.
One of the world’s wealthiest men who appears repeatedly on Forbes Magazine’s “top” lists, John Catsimatides even has one more up on The Donald. He is truly self-made. He didn’t inherit his money like Trump did, but earned it the old fashioned way— by working long hard hours.
The news of Catsimatides’ second bid for mayor of New York City wasn’t broken by Politico, nor The Wall Street Journal— but by gossip columnist Cindy Adams on her famous (or sometimes infamous) Page Six column on The New York Post. Some would argue it was the most appropriate for a man whose colorful family is one of the most talked about in the city.
“John Catsimatidis will run for mayor,” Adams wrote in her May 10th column, confirming the news pretty solidly, adding that “Not what I think. Not what I heard. What I know!”
Catsimatides came from the island of Nisyros in Greece with his family when he was an infant, settling in New York City and working his way up the social ladder, building a massive business empire that includes a large super market chain, an oil refinery and millions in real estate holdings.
He never forgot where he came from and has remained involved and has supported dozens upon dozens of Greek Orthodox and Greek American community efforts. He even created his own scholarship foundation that, over the years, awarded millions of dollars in academic grants to worthy Greek American students.
If business and philanthropy are two words that describe him, politics would have to be the third to round off the Holy Trinity of John Catsimatides. He’s donated millions of dollars to Republicans and Democrats and has hosted numerous presidents at his home, including Bill Clinton who he calls a 30-year friend.
Video: John Catsimatides discussing his relationship with the Clintons and Donald Trump:
Catsimatides ran unsuccessfully for mayor of New York in 2013, self-funding his campaign to the tune of more than $20 million. He lost in the Republican primary to Joseph Lhota, a deputy mayor in the Giuliani administration, who went on to run against New York City’s current mayor Bill de Blasio.
One thing for sure— Catsimatides is sure to attract a media spectacle for his race and like Donald Trump, “who knows?” is the only answer one can say for sure when discussing the current political situation in the United States.
Can a poor boy from a tiny Greek island who became a billionaire become mayor of America’s biggest city?