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Lhota, Supporters Talk Cash At Midtown Breakfast

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Some of the city's wealthiest residents descended on the Harvard Club Friday morning for a closed-door meeting with Republican candidate for mayor and former MTA head Joseph Lhota. NY1's Grace Rauh filed the following report.

If Joseph Lhota is going to make a serious run for City Hall, he's going to need to raise a significant amount of money, and raise it quickly.

Money was certainly at the center of a private meeting at the Harvard Club Friday, where Lhota met with some of the wealthiest business leaders in the city to talk about his candidacy and his path to victory.

"I pretty much had a pep rally today for my supporters," Lhota said. "Gave them breakfast, talked about where we are going with the campaign, how we are doing."

Ken Langone, a billionaire businessman who is a founder of Home Depot, is one of Lhota's most high- profile supporters. He said fundraising will not be a problem.

"Joe will not want for money," Langone said. "We'll raise the money. Why? Because we've got a great product that is needed in this fabulous city."

Those attending the meeting received folders with information about the candidate and a copy of a New York Post editorial titled "How Lhota Could Win".

But not everyone who came out to this meeting at the Harvard Club is definitively supporting Lhota. At least one person NY1 spoke with made it clear he is still on the fence when it comes to deciding who he is going to back in the mayor's race.

"I, at the moment, am not supporting anybody," said financier Donald Marron. "But I am very enthusiastic about Joe.

Marron founded Lightyear Capital and is the former chairman and CEO of Paine Webber, where Lhota used to work.

"I've known him a long time," Marron said. "He's a great executive. He's a great public servant. This was a very well attended meeting, and we're learning more about Joe the politician."

Joe the politician got what some said is good news this week. The New York City Independence Party endorsed former Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion for mayor, which means there could be a three-way general election in November.

Many political observers believe that if Lhota wins the Republican primary, he stands to benefit the most from that scenario.

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