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Geraldo Considers Run for NYC Mayor

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NEW YORK (AP) — Geraldo Rivera wants to run for mayor of New York City, and he doesn't mind if that makes people laugh.

``I expect the first reaction to be, `Geraldo as mayor, ha ha,''' Rivera told The New York Times.

But the television journalist, who anchors a talk show on CNBC, says he is serious about an independent campaign for mayor, after a ``totally self-financed'' petition drive to get his name on the ballot.

``I think the city needs someone from the outside,'' Rivera said Thursday on NBC's ``Today.''

The election will be held in November 2001. Mayor Rudolph Giuliani is barred by law from seeking a third term.

Rivera, 57, said he was only exploring a possible campaign and that he was considering commissioning a poll to determine his chances. He numbered among his qualifications his long career covering city-related issues and his background as a lawyer. Not to mention, as he told the Times, that ``my whole gene pool is New York. I'm Puerto Rican and Jewish.''

``I think Jesse Ventura comes much closer to what I want to do: a truly independent campaign from a political outsider with a serious agenda,'' Rivera said. He said he would not try to win the nomination of any political party.

He wouldn't be the first New York media figure to dream of City Hall. Publisher William Randolph Hearst tried a bid in 1905, author and commentator William F. Buckley Jr. in 1965 and novelist Norman Mailer in 1969. They all lost.

If he overturned that string, would it be Mayor Rivera or Mayor Geraldo? Rivera said, ``Like Elvis and Lassie and Oprah, I have one-name recognition.''

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