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Joe Lhota (Photo courtesy of MTA/Flickr)
Joe Lhota (Photo courtesy of MTA/Flickr)

It’s official. Joe Lhota, former CEO and chair of the MTA, is a mayoral candidate.

On Thursday Lhota filed papers with the Board of Elections to become the 109th mayor of New York City.

This morning on his newly created campaign website and Facebook page as well as on both his personal and campaign Twitter accounts he made the announcement.

He also tweeted an image with the slogan “A mayor for all of New York, proven leadership” and a photoshopped picture of Grand Central’s Mercury clock  with “Joe Lhota for Mayor” written below it.

The ex-transit head stepped down from his MTA position at the end of 2012 so he could ponder his candiacy, and said he would make his final decision on running in early January.

Lhota, a former deputy mayor for operations during the Rudy Giulianni administration, will reportedly run as a Republican.

Among his own party Lhota is a top contender, according to aQuinnipiac University poll released Wednesday.

Twenty-three percent of New York City voters said they would vote for Lhota in a Republican primary for mayor.

Coming in second was supermarket mogul John Catsimatidis with nine percent, followed by newspaper publisher Tom Allon with five percent, former Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion with three percent and Doe Fund founder George McDonald with two percent.

But 53 percent of those surveyed were still undecided.

The  same poll also found that voters would back several potential Democratic candidates, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio and City Comptroller William Thompson, by a 3-1 margin or more.

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