Molinaro: Mets fan, subway rider

“I love New York City,” said Republican gubernatorial candidate Marc Molinaro with a smile during his endorsement interview with the amNewYork/Newsday editorial board on Wednesday.

Molinaro, who is county executive of Dutchess County just a bit north along the Hudson, may have an uphill battle in the Democrat-heavy five boroughs simply because of his party affiliation.

But Molinaro promises that he’s not the kind of New York Republican who wants to cut off the city and let it drift out to sea. Here’s a selection of what the former youngest-mayor-in-America said about the Big Apple.


Yes, Molinaro rides the subway when he’s in town and said he just did so for a recent campaign stop.

He endorsed NYC Transit President Andy Byford’s long-term tens-of-billions dollar plan to fix the subways and buses. That’s “certainly the best approach,” said Molinaro.

To streamline big capital projects, he proposes using temporary limited development corporations to focus directly on the jobs — an idea based in a Regional Plan Association proposal.

He says he has favored congestion pricing — tolling Manhattan bridges to reduce traffic and/or raise money for the MTA — since the Bloomberg administration attempted it in 2008.

And, he thinks MTA chief Joe Lhota oughta go thanks to various conflicts of interests.


Molinaro supports medicinal marijuana, but he says he’s not comfortable embracing recreational marijuana “as of today.” That said, he added that he anticipates New York City will legalize marijuana in some form soon, and as governor he wouldn’t stand in the city’s way.

He noted that the funny stuff is “basically decriminalized” and “readily available” in NYC already.

“Have you ever walked down the streets of New York?”

Big Bill

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio have an often fraught relationship. How would Molinaro play in the sandbox?

“I have a decent relationship with the mayor,” says Molinaro, adding that he has interacted with de Blasio at political events. He says he’s happy to work with whoever is mayor.

He isn’t, however, a big fan of the tax on city millionaires that de Blasio has floated for years to fund various initiatives.

Molinaro said he didn’t generally support additional taxes.


Molinaro said he would like schools to be more community focused, with more buy-in by parents as well as students and teachers. He said there were certain good things about eras when schools were the centers of towns or villages.

It’s a philosophy that might not sound foreign in NYC, where de Blasio tried to put more community services into certain “Renewal” schools. The results have been mixed.

Yankees or Mets

Molinaro said his grandfather had been a New York and then San Francisco Giants fan, but his grandfather told him at a young age that he had to pick a New York team for himself. At this crucial moment of youth, Molinaro says his grandfather whispered, “but anybody can be a Yankees fan.”

So Mets it was.

But as a true politician, Molinaro added that he always roots for the Yankees in the postseason.