Former New York Gov. George Pataki says for the first time in his life he is worried about the “future” of New York City.
“For the first time ever, I fear for the future of New York City. The de Blasio administration has been a disaster, and New York has been hit by just decision after decision that really jeopardizes its future,” Pataki, the former three-term Republican governor, told the New York Post, adding, “It’s not just City Hall but Albany too.”
“This cannot be allowed to continue or New York City is going to die,” he added.
Pataki, 75, who has been out of politics for more than a decade, said that crime, the coronavirus, and poor leadership across state and city governments have brought the Big Apple to its knees.
Although Pataki has stayed out of politics, he has kept up with current developments across the state, such as bail reform, rent reform, and ThriveNYC — which resulted in “having mentally ill homeless all over the streets of New York.”
“So many people are going to lose their lives needlessly because of the demonization of the police and the decriminalization of acts where people should be arrested and put away as opposed to turned loose on the street,” he said.
Pataki, who started out as a local mayor of Peekskill, is now spending his time writing books, such as Beyond the Great Divide: How a Nation Became a Neighborhood, and practicing law at Norton Rose Fulbright.
But he has not completely ruled out mounting a bid against current Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, as he has been appalled at some of the executive orders Cuomo has put into place, such as forcing nursing homes to accept elderly people who have tested positive for coronavirus.
“You never say never,” Pataki said, when the Post asked him if he would run again, noting that he would still be “the youth candidate in a [presidential] Democratic primary.”