Domenic Recchia aims to challenge Michael Grimm for Congress

Grimm news for Democrats?

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Southern Brooklyn Republican leaders say Councilman Domenic Recchia’s decision to run for Congress in 2014 will guarantee Rep. Michael Grimm’s re-election — and even Democrats in the district are afraid that the term-limited city pol will wreck their chances of recapturing the seat.

Republicans and Democrats in the district represented by Grimm (R–Staten Island) — which includes all of the Rock, as well as Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bath Beach, Gravesend, and parts of Bensonhurst — agreed that Recchia (D–Coney Island) has little chance of pulling the seat out from under the recently re-elected Grimm, and conservatives cheered the three-term City Councilman’s announcement.

Jerry Kassar, chairman of the Brooklyn Conservative Party and chief-of-staff to state Sen. Marty Golden (R–Bay Ridge), said Recchia’s well-publicized indecision over whether to run for city comptroller or borough president in 2014, and his lack of federal experience, would make him a pushover for Grimm.

“I say bring him on!” said Kassar. “Voters will have to choose between a strong incumbent and a challenger who doesn’t know what he wants to do with his life, and has shown absolutely no evidence of competence in national issues.”

Kassar also pointed out that the overwhelming majority of voters in the district live on the other side of the Narrows from Recchia’s power base, and that Recchia has represented only a small part of that turf in the Council. He suggested the Councilman is really just looking to avoid the unemployment line.

“It’s, to me, very odd that he decided to run,” said Kassar. “Apparently he just needs a job.”

State Conservative Party Chairman Mike Long suggested that Recchia was tainted by his close ties to scandal-scarred Assemblyman and former Democratic Party boss Vito Lopez (D–Bushwick), who according to some reports helped the councilman land the powerful finance committee chairmanship.

“He was a strong supporter of the organization, and Vito Lopez was the organization in Brooklyn,” said Long, a Bay Ridge resident. “I don’t think that helps him, but that’s for the voters to decide.”

Even members of Recchia’s own party dismissed his chances of victory, with one Ridge Democratic leader suggesting that Recchia’s congressional campaign might be little more than a vanity project.

“He’s a guy who likes to see his name in the paper, and nobody takes him that seriously,” said the Dem, who asked to remain anonymous. “I don’t really think he has a shot.”

Worse, the party bigwig suggested that Recchia’s entrance into the race would discourage former Democratic congressman Mike McMahon — whom Grimm defeated in 2010, but some say would be a strong contender in 2014 — from running again.

“This really muddies things up,” the civic leader said. “The last thing anyone wants is someone to challenge Grimm and lose again.”

A source close to McMahon said that the former congressman was still considering a run, and argued that the Staten Islander would be a stronger candidate, having won the seat before and served as councilman from the Rock for six years — but said he was leery of an inter-party squabble.

“No one wants there to be a primary,” said the Democrat, who also asked not to be named.

Recchia’s camp refused to comment on the criticisms, or to remark on the ongoing federal probe into Grimm’s 2010 fund-raising “This campaign is just about Domenic and the great things he can do for the people of southern Brooklyn and Staten Island,” said Recchia spokeswoman Ashleigh Owens.

Grimm’s office declined to comment on Recchia’s announcement.

Reach reporter Will Bredderman at wbredderman@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4507. Follow him at twitter.com/WillBredderman.

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Reader Feedback

anthony from gravesend says:
After being rolled over by Manhattan BP Scott Stringer for Comptroller & being crushed by State Senator Eric Adams for Brooklyn BP , Recchia has shown himself to be an opportunist & loser.
He's going to be a carpetbagger in Staten Island. I don't care if his mother lives there , or his sisters live there that doesn't mean anything.
The democrats in Staten Island vote Republican, that's a known fact.
I have many friends who live in Staten Island & can't stand Recchia.
When he was going to run for Congress before, and Mike McMahon knocked him out the box & won election.
When it came to Steve Harrison running for Congress he lost. When Mike Murphy was running for Congress he lost.
The same will be for Recchia. he's a loser.
Recchia looked like a real fool on NY1 last night. He couldn't even put two words together to make a complete sentence.
His mouth became very dry & I thought he was going to pull a "Rubio" with an emergency water fill up.
The only chance the Dems have to taking back the seat is if they run former Congressman Mike McMahon.
I live in Recchia's district & I won't vote for him , Primary or General election.
Feb. 21, 2013, 10:13 am
Kevin Elkinz from Park Slope says:
What does Brooklyn's Democrat State Senator Diane Savino say about Recchia's chances?

"I've told (him) this, (his) biggest problem is (he doesn't) live on Staten Island. Eighty percent of this district is in Staten Island. One thing about Staten Islanders, they will vote for anybody on any line if they're from Staten Island versus someone who's not."

Feb. 21, 2013, 1:26 pm
Paul Pare from Bay Ridge says:
Sorry guys. Those who don't know Brooklyn politics are unaware of Recchia's long history of scandal. Politics has made him a rich man, especially because his law firm gets so much work from people and companies who have business before the City Council or many city agencies.

He voted for the property tax hike and congestion pricing, the two votes which led to McMahon's defeat. Read this report by political research firm Gallagher and Hollenbeck which they had mysteriously made public on their website some time ago. Recchia's not going anywhere folks.

Feb. 21, 2013, 1:27 pm
jerry from brighton beach says:
I also agree with Paul Pare.
If you look at the NYC Campaign Finance
Board reports for expenditures : His partner in the law firm Theodore Pavlounis has received $ 15,000 from Recchia's contributions for "Consulting". May not be illegal but it stinks like a dead rat.
In additon Mr.Pavlounis has sued the City of New York on behalf of clients in accident cases when Mr. Recchia is sitting on the Council. Not exactly kosher but not illegal.
Mr. Recchia has paid his wife Kimberly Recchia $ 14,000 for office rent in their HOME.What for : A Campaign Headquarters ? Not illegal but is this what a Councilman should be doing with contributions from his constituents?
Feb. 21, 2013, 4:43 pm
Erhan from Trump Village says:
Recchia for Comptroller?

Recchia for Borough President?

Recchia for Congress?

Recchia a homemaker!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Feb. 21, 2013, 9:49 pm

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