Sources say Councilman Eric Ulrich is being urged to challenge Mayor Bill de Blasio next year by Republican leaders, including state chairman Ed Cox, Queens GOP chairman Bob Turner and former Republican mayoral candidate Joseph Lhota, who lost to de Blasio in 2013.
Ulrich is staying mum on any potential run, but he's proven to be a resilient candidate in an overwhelmingly Democratic city, at least as far as registered voters go. Although, both Rudy Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg ran as Republicans and managed to capture City Hall, so a Republican running the city isn't without precedent.
Ulrich was first elected to the City Council in 2009 and won a second term in 2013, despite the fact that Democrats outnumber Republicans in his district.
Ulrich also ran an unsuccessful campaign to unseat Democratic State Senator Joseph Addabbo in 2012, but that election came just weeks after Hurricane Sandy, which displaced a number of likely Republican voters in the Rockaways who couldn't make it to the polls.
In fact, Turner's own neighborhood of Breezy Point, presumably a right-leaning enclave, was completely destroyed by fire.
Ulrich turns 31 next weekend. If – and these are big ifs – Ulrich decides to run, manages to overcome de Blasio's 6-to-1 advantage in registered Democratic voters, and takes City Hall, he would be the youngest mayor since Hugh Grant, who in 1889 was also the ripe young age of 31.