Former Congressman And Felon Runs For Re-Election
By: Steven Morris
Michael Grimm, fresh out from seven months in prison for tax fraud, is running against current congressman, Dan Donovan, for the Republican nomination to represent Staten Island and Brooklyn in Congress.
This would make a great redemption story for Michael Grimm– if he gets re-elected.
Though Dan Donovan seems to have the backing of the New York Republican party and other national Republican politicians, Grimm entering the race shakes things up a bit.
If you were to ask Donovan’s team if were they worried, they would likely laugh in your face.
A spokeswoman for Dan Donovan, Jessica Proud, had this to say about the candidacy of Grimm: “We’re not really concerned about a challenge from a convicted felon who was rated one of the most liberal Republicans in Congress.”
Grimm is on record criticizing Dan Donovan, saying that Donovan’s “no” vote on Obamacare’s repeal, undermines Trump’s agenda and that he (Grimm) wouldn’t do that.
Proud also told the Staten Island Advance, “It’s hard to tell what’s worse: the fact that Michael Grimm lied to his constituents, then quit and left them in the lurch with no representation under President Obama, or that he had one of the most liberal voting records of all Congressional Republicans.”
She continued, “Either way, voters can’t trust Michael Grimm and we’re trying to drain the swamp, not make it murkier. Dan is focused on doing the people’s business and helping the president enact an agenda that will lead to an American renaissance.”
However, the Donovan campaign could be a little worried.
On October 4, Grimm met with former President Trump’s chief strategist, Steve Bannon, to help coordinate with his campaign.
Michael Caputo, Grimm’s spokesman and former Trump campaign aid, was asked if Bannon had endorsed Grimm, he answered “Everything is on the table.”
This meeting holds some significance because of what happened in Alabama.
It was there on September 26 that Roy Moore, a very right-leaning conservative, beat out Senator Luther Strange, an incumbent in a special Republican primary race.
The Republicans and President Trump endorsed Senator Strange.
On the other hand, Steve Bannon endorsed Roy Moore, who defeated Senator Strange by double digits.
One could imagine a scenario where something similar could happen here on Staten Island and Brooklyn.
Grimm had a sizable turnout to his announcement that he was running again, and it looked like there were people there who have forgiven him for his past transgressions.
Cathy Reid, a Staten Island Republican, was at the rally and said “I know what he did was wrong. He did his time. Every business does that (tax fraud), he was made an example of.”
Even with Donovan’s strong backing, there is still a possibility Grimm will run as a third-party candidate, worrying some Republicans that with Donovan and Grimm on the same ballot, it would increase the chances of a Democrat being voted in.
Caputo had this to say about Grimm possibly running as a third-party candidate: “He’s keeping all of his options open.”
Being convicted and serving time for tax fraud isn’t the only trouble Michael Grimm has gotten into.
Early in 2014, after the State of the Union address was presented by then President Obama, he had threatened to throw a NY1 reporter over the balcony.
“I’ll break you in half. Like a boy,” said Michael Grimm, as he was being asked by the NY1 reporter about the federal investigation into his tax fraud.
The election for Donovan’s seat isn’t until next year, but the race is starting to heat up, as it will be a race to watch in next year’s election cycle.