5/18/13

Can Recchia Win Staten Island?

As the Daily News reported, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has backed Brooklyn City Council Member Dominic Recchia in a bid to unseat Tea Party Republican Michael Grimm in the 11th Congressional District, an important signal that multiple scandals and mounting legal debts have earned Grimm a spot on the Democrats' 2014 House Republican hit list.

Although the gerrymandered 11th CD, made up of Staten Island and the Bay Ridge cut of Brooklyn, has historically been a Conservative stronghold, President Obama not only carried it in 2008 but in 2012 as well.

But Brooklyn Democrats have so far found the 11th CD bulletproof.  City Council member and mayoral candidate Sal Albanese lost it to Susan Molinari, scion of the Staten Island political dynasty, in 1992; and Assembly Member Frank Barbaro and Bay Ridge attorney Steve Harrison lost it to baby daddy Vito Fossella.

Recchia's decision to challenge Grimm came after Superstorm Sandy, he said, when he and other City Council members were scrambling for money to restore hospitals and schools in their districts.

During the post-Sandy money shuffle, Recchia said, he realized how essential Congressional support was to that process. But, he said, House Speaker John Boehner, leaving New York legislators twisting in the wind, cancelled a vote on a bill to fund the recovery and deployed the New York congressional delegation to lobby for his re-election.

Recchia called Grimm's backing the obstructionist Boehner's re-election bid in the middle of the struggle to fund the Sandy recovery "unacceptable."

Regarded as a formidable fundraiser, the Italian-American Gravesend native racked up $410,000 in the first five weeks after announcing his congressional bid.

Former Democratic Congressional Representative and City Council Member Michael McMahon is expected to primary Recchia.

More on Recchia's chances from the Daily News.

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