Gov. Andrew Cuomo heaped praise on MTA Chairman Joe Lhota for his deft handling of Hurricane Sandy, but says he won’t make any endorsement in the New York City mayor’s race.

“I would like to see Mr. Lhota do what Mr. Lhota wants to do. he has done an extraordinary job as head of the MTA, the entire region got to see how well he performed,” Cuomo said.

Should Lhota, a Republican, decide to run for mayor, he would have to give up his job as head of New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

Lhota has become a celebrated figure in New York politics for his work in getting the region’s transporation infrastructure back on line following the storm and its stoked the potential of him running for mayor to succeed independent Michael Bloomberg.

“I admire that he enjoys public service, but I would caution him about elected service. It is a nasty process to go through,” Cuomo said with a laugh.

The Democratic governor said he is not expecting to endorse in the race, which includes a crowded field of Democrats.

“I’m going to try to stay out of the politics of New York City if I can avoid it,” Cuomo said.