The way Joseph Lhota ran New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority during Hurricane Sandy has prompted some officials in the region to suggest the MTA chairman should run for mayor of New York City.

But Lhota bristled at the suggestion when a reporter brought up the question after Wednesday’s MTA board meeting at Manhattan headquarters.

“This is an MTA press conference, not a political press conference,” said Lhota, a registered Republican and a former deputy mayor for operations under Rudolph Giuliani. “I’m not going to answer any questions about politics.”

Lhota deflected praise for the authority’s performance during and after Sandy.

“This was a team effort and everyone deserved the credit,” he said. “People appreciate the MTA a lot more than they did during Sandy.”

Lhota succeeded Jay Walder as MTA chairman in January after Gov. Andrew Cuomo nominated him.

The 2013 mayoral election will be open seat, with incumbent Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s tenure to expire after three terms.

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