After impressively leading the MTA through Hurricane Sandy, there were rumors about MTA Chairman Joe Lhota running for mayor. While Lhota couldn't talk about it due to his position as a state employee, he was rumors swirled that he was seriously considering it. And now the NY Times reports that the thinking is turning into action: "Joseph J. Lhota, the chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, has informed the Cuomo administration that he is stepping down from his position, according to three people with direct knowledge of his plans. He is expected to resign on Friday and announce his candidacy for New York City mayor as a Republican."

Lhota was appointed to head the MTA last year when Jay Walder stepped down to lead Hong Kong's privatized mass transit system. His experience has included working for tyrants (at Madison Square Garden for the Dolans and City Hall as deputy mayor operations under Rudy Giuliani) and for Wall Street as an investment banker at Paine Webber and CS First Boston.

The Times says, "Though he has said little about his plans since then, Mr. Lhota began maneuvering behind the scenes for a possible run. He floated the prospect of his candidacy during a meeting with Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. And Mr. Giuliani and several of his aides have spoken to local Republicans and business leaders about Mr. Lhota’s possible entry into the race... Mr. Lhota is well known among the city’s political and business elite, some of whom have clamored recently for him to enter the race."

Right now, besides Lhota, the Republican side of the mayoral race has had Adolfo Carrion Jr., the former Democratic Bronx Borough President, and John Catsimatidis, the billionaire grocer and oil tycoon, in the mix. And Ray Kelly.