NEW YORK (AP) - Businessman John Catsimatidis (cat-sih-mah-TEE-dihz) has made it official _ he's in the race to follow fellow billionaire Michael Bloomberg as New York City's mayor.
Catsimatidis announced his candidacy Tuesday. The Republican joins an increasingly crowded field of GOP, Democratic and other candidates seeking to succeed the term-limited, Democrat-turned-Republican-turned independent Bloomberg.
Catsimatidis' family left Greece for the United States when he was an infant. He began his career in the grocery business and branched out into oil, real estate and other areas.
He praises Bloomberg for a city that has attracted businesses and seen crime drop during his 12 years in office. Catsimatidis says New York can't afford to "go in the wrong direction" now.
But he also says he's a Harlem-raised, regular New Yorker, "not a Mike Bloomberg billionaire."
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