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Lhota announced run for mayor of New York City

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Albany/HV: Lhota announced run for mayor of New York City
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It's been weeks of speculation, but former MTA Chairman Joe Lhota has announced he will be running for mayor of New York City and will file his papers this week. YNN's Grace Rauh has more.

NEW YORK CITY, N.Y. -- “I would not have left the MTA, a job and a position that I loved, if I wasn't going to run for mayor of New York,” said Joseph Lhota.

It was hardly a formal announcement, but former MTA chairman Joe Lhota is letting New Yorkers know his mind is made up. He is running to be the city's new mayor.

It was his strongest statement to date about his plans since leaving his job at the transit agency at the end of the year. In December, he said he was quitting to explore a bid for City Hall. It seems the exploration period is over.

Lhota said, “I think later this week, I should be a full-fledged filed candidate.”

For the past two weeks, Lhota, who was a top aide to Rudy Giuliani when he was mayor, has largely kept quiet, although he has been meeting with Republican leaders and a potential rival behind closed doors. He broke his silence at a meeting of the New York Building Congress, a powerful group of construction and real estate interests that could help his campaign. The president of the group suggested that he is a supporter.

“Who has a question for Mayor Lhota?” said Richard Anderson if the New York Building Congress.

Lhota's speech offered a possible preview of his campaign platform. He touted his leadership at the MTA, which he ran for a little over a year.

“I believe the MTA is one of the most transparent government agencies in the United States,” Lhota said.

And he praised the agency for its performance during Hurricane Sandy.

“If you agree that the MTA is in a better position today than it was a year ago, then imagine what I can do in my future with a much more complex organization,” Lhota said.

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