Mayor Bill de Blasio’s penchant for being late is now costing his potential gubernatorial campaign.
De Blasio has recently been reaching out to donors to discuss his planned Democratic Primary challenge — only to find out they already put their money behind sitting Gov. Kathy Hochul.
The mayor had lunch recently with business moguls John Catsimatidis and Dennis Mehiel — after the duo already held two fundraisers and raised nearly a half million dollars for the state’s first female gov.
The former lieutenant governor, Hochul became New York’s chief executive after Andrew Cuomo resigned under the threat of impeachment following a sexual misconduct scandal.
De Blasio requested a lunch meeting with the duo at Smith & Wollensky steakhouse.
Although he hasn’t officially thrown his hat in the ring for a 2022 gubernatorial bid, Hizzoner has expressed interest: he created a candidate committee and opined on how “there’s a lot of things that need to be fixed in Albany.”
“Mayor de Blasio asked us to have lunch with him to discuss what he wants to do in the future, after leaves office on January 1. It was about what he’s going to do after January,” said Catsimatidis, a billionaire whose business interests include oil companies, real estate and the Gristedes supermarket chain.
Catsimatidis, a former mayoral candidate who has described himself as a “Republican liberal,” wouldn’t say what advice he gave de Blasio about running for governor — but another source told The Post that he and Mehiel discouraged a bid. Donors who contribute and bundle that much money for a sitting governor don’t do the same for a primary rival.
“It was a cordial and friendly discussion. I’ve known the man for 35 to 40 years. You know the expression, `You don’t go to bed and talk about it the next day.’ I’m not going to kiss and tell,” Catsimatidis said.
Mehiel is a corrugated packaging company executive who served as chairman of the Battery Park City Authority, and was appointed by Cuomo.
Catsimatidis and Mehiel are big political donors and philanthropists who have deep ties to the Greek-American community.
Catsimatidis’ companies have business before or with the city and state governments. He and his wife, Margo, have contributed more than $300,000 to Cuomo’s campaigns for governor and attorney general.
He was also questioned by investigators about a $50,000 donation that was steered to the Putnam Democratic Party at the behest of de Blasio to help flip the state Senate from Republican to Democratic control in 2014.
Catsimatidis’ United Metro Energy Corp has been awarded tens of millions of dollars in city contracts that provide government agencies with heating oil, bio-blend and bio-heat bulk deliveries.
Hochul has raised $10 million since August, when she filed with the state Board of Elections to run for a full term, and has $11.1 million in cash on hand.
Fat cat lobbyists, real estate tycoons and politicos have attended multiple fundraisers for her campaign — with ticket prices soaring as high as $25,000 a pop.
That means de Blasio — and Hochul’s official challengers State Attorney General and 2022 gubernatorial candidate Letitia James and NYC Public Advocate Jumaane Williams — likely have a lot of ground to make up.
But the public will have to wait until January to find out just how much these contenders have, as the Board of Elections won’t post updated public finance reports until the new year.
Right now, de Blasio’s 2020 presidential campaign account has just $4,731 left in cash on hand, but is also saddled with a debt/loan balance of $67,371.
The cold shoulder he’s getting from donors already indicates he likely won’t have much pull for the governor’s race, and even less so without the power of the mayor’s office.
It’s also a sharp contrast to Cuomo’s massive $18 million in his campaign coffers.
Sources told The Post the disgraced ex-gov is mulling a comeback bid for his old state AG post, but the move could prove unlikely following the release of state Assembly Judiciary Committee’s devastating impeachment report earlier this week.
The analysis blasted Cuomo using government resources — staffers — to help write, prepare and promote his lucrative $5.1 million pandemic-era memoir “American Crisis.”
James and Williams’ campaigns did not respond to an immediate request for comment when asked for updated fundraising figures.
James also recently hired a new campaign director — Gabby Seay — who was 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers Union’ director of political action. An endorsement from the key union will be highly sought after ahead of the Democratic primary in June.
De Blasio did not respond to an immediate request for comment.