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Politics

Andrea Catsimatidis, Manhattan GOP Chair, Profiled in New York Magazine

July 24, 2019

NEW YORK – Greek-American Andrea Catsimatidis was profiled in New York Magazine for its July 22 issue. The daughter of billionaire, philanthropist, and former candidate for New York City Mayor, John Catsimatidis, she is making a name for herself as the chair of the Manhattan Republican Party, a position she has held since 2017.

Catsimatidis, 29, met with New York Magazine’s Olivia Nuzzi at Avra Madison in Midtown Manhattan for the discussion on how she became a Republican, and “a rising GOP star,” as the New York Post’s Jon Levine called her in a recent article.

She told New York Magazine that “she became a Republican as soon as she learned what it meant.”

Her father is well-known as a bipartisan donor but ran for mayor as a Republican, though Andrea Catsimatidis had thought he was a Democrat since the family had a “close relationship” with the Clintons. “I still have great admiration for them, just ’cause I’ve known them since I was 2 years old,” she told New York Magazine, adding that her father running as a Republican confused her.

She continued, “I looked up what it meant to be a Republican, and I saw that being a Republican stood for freedom and opportunity for all, and I was like, ‘Of course I’m a Republican!’”

“To me it just made more sense. It’s just your definition of what you believe is inequality: Do you believe in equal opportunity or equal outcomes? And to me, I believe in equal opportunity,” she told New York Magazine which noted that she “went on to lead the NYU College Republicans.”

The article also pointed out that Catsimatidis studied business at NYU and has nearly 50,000 followers on Instagram where recent posts feature her on the beach in various locations including South Beach, the Hamptons, and Mykonos.

Of the comments following her appearance on CNN when she commented on the government shutdown, she said, “When people want to be mean, they’ll just make fun of my appearance because that’s the petty default that people have. They usually tend to complain about my feminine anatomy…The Democrats started attacking my breasts, and the Republicans were defending them, and then I thought to myself, ‘I didn’t realize that my breasts were so partisan,’” New York Magazine reported.

Catsimatidis married Christopher Nixon Cox, Richard Nixon’s grandson, in 2011. The marriage was announced in the New York Times which noted that the couple met when Catsimatidis, “five days shy of her 18th birthday,” was a senior at the Hewitt School and Cox, then 29, was on the staff of the late John McCain’s presidential campaign.

Though the marriage ended in 2014, Catsimatidis does not regret the elaborate wedding, and she and Cox remain friends, New York Magazine reported.

“We had so many people to celebrate with us. Hillary Clinton was at my wedding. We had Henry Kissinger, we had Rudy Giuliani, we had Chuck Schumer. It was a beautiful, bipartisan wedding – everyone had an amazing time,” she told New York Magazine which added that “Trump once told the couple he persuaded her father to pay for the expensive affair.”

Of the overwhelming odds against the Republicans in Manhattan where the ratio is eight-to-one in favor of Democrats, Catsimatidis told New York Magazine that “the ratio against her interests doesn’t bother her too much, but she was frightened when party headquarters was vandalized by Antifa.”

For those unfamiliar with Antifa, it is the movement comprised of left-wing autonomous, militant anti-fascist groups and individuals in the United States. Activists involved in the movement focus on fighting far-right and white supremacist ideologies directly, rather than through electoral means.

“They threw bricks at the windows and spray-painted our doors,” Catsimatidis told New York Magazine, but she remained undaunted and continued her work as Manhattan GOP chair which includes attending fund-raisers, finding candidates, and helping them get on the ballot.

While Republicans in Manhattan may not share the exact positions on issues as Republicans elsewhere in the U.S., Catsimatidis “sees her job, in part, as reflecting what her constituents want as much as what she personally believes,” including her open support for LGBTQ rights, New York Magazine reported.

Concerning abortion, “My belief is, I’m pro-life, but at the same time, as Manhattan GOP chair, I’m doing my best to fulfill the role that represents our Manhattan Republican Party, and our Manhattan Republican Party is pro-choice, all of our candidates are pro-choice, all of our candidates are pro-gay marriage, all of our candidates are very socially liberal. So I feel like I’m acting in the interest of what our constituency is. That’s what I’m going to do,” she told New York Magazine.

Catsimatidis noted that “the Upper East Side is very welcoming and Republican, but if you go downtown, say, where the registration is seven-to-one, then people get a little bit more hostile,” New York Magazine reported.

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