Raymond Kelly has repeatedly said he’s not interested in running for mayor, but veteran GOP kingmaker Guy Molinari isn’t so sure. “I do think he can be convinced to look at it seriously,” says Molinari, 78, who’s met with Kelly recently. Over the years, Molinari has been instrumental in jump-starting the political careers of Rudy Giuliani (he now works on Giuliani’s presidential campaign) and Mike Bloomberg (Molinari backed him before pretty much anybody). Molinari first brought up the idea with Kelly in 2002, suggesting he run as a Democrat because “with the lineup we have, you win!” Back then, “he seemed, from a distance, interested in the position.” Except that Kelly was a registered Independent. But the GOP, desperate for an electable replacement for Bloomberg, is interested—and Bloomberg has already touted him. And still, he demurs. Says Kelly’s spokesman Paul Browne: “There may be people out there that have expressed their interest in him running for mayor, but he thinks police commissioner is the best job in the city, and he’s focused exclusively on it.”
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