Category Archives: 11th Congressional District

Malliotakis On Grimm



Republican mayoral candidate Nicole Malliotakis had little to say about fellow Staten Island Republican Michael Grimm’s return to politics Sunday.  Speaking just before marching in the Pulaski Day Parade, Malliotakis offered that “I’m focused on my own election which is five weeks away” when asked for any reaction or expression of support for either Grimm or incumbent Congressman Dan Donovan.

Grimm is a former congressman who resigned in 2014 after pleading guilty to federal tax fraud.  He held a Staten Island rally Sunday to declare his intention to seek election to his former congressional seat.  The current congressman, Dan Donovan, was elected in a 2015 special election.  Malliotakis, a member of the New York State Assembly, had sought the Republican nomination in that election but party leaders selected Donovan.  (Party nominees are selected by party leaders, not via a primary, in such special elections.)  There is speculation in Staten Island political circles that Malliotakis may be interested in running for this congressional seat, should she not win her current mayoral race.

Malliotakis General Election Kickoff



Republican/Conservative mayoral candidate Nicole Malliotakis held a press conference today to kickoff her general election campaign.  Speaking outside St. Mary Gate of Heaven church in Ozone Park Malliotakis laid out her broad campaign themes and parried repeated questions focused on the many electoral challenges she faces.  Malliotakis became the undisputed Republican and Conservative nominee several weeks ago, without having to face any opponents in a primary, but with the Democratic primary yesterday formally establishing Mayor Bill de Blasio as the Democratic nominee the general election season informally began today.

Malliotakis sought to turn Mayor de Blasio’s own campaign rhetoric on him, saying de Blasio’s “tale of two cities” is alive but is now a tale of “one city for [de Blasio’s] donors and friends and another city for everybody else.”  Somewhat awkwardly saying that she’s running “to give voice to the everybody else” Malliotakis catalogued New Yorkers who she expects will support her, including those paying higher property taxes, victims of sex crimes, transit riders enduring increased delays, homeless not sufficiently helped by the City, families whose children are insufficiently educated in City schools and families whose children are on charter school waiting lists.

She paired the laundry list of concerns she sees as burdening New Yorkers with a promise to focus on them, saying she’s “not in this race to fight an ideological war” or to “raise a national profile to run for president.”

Video:

Here is the full press conference:

No More Mr. Nice Guy? (Updated)



Donovan Post-vote Gaggle 5-5-1511th Congressional District voters chose Republican/Conservative/Independence candidate Dan Donovan in Tuesdays’s special election.  Will Congressman Donovan remain the “nice guy” that many of his voters chose or adopt the Tea Party Zeitgeist of his new colleagues?

Donovan’s been in politics for 20 years, running and winning three elections for Staten Island District Attorney. He’s well known on Staten Island, especially to Republican voters who generally like him and regard him as a nice guy.  I saw that view frequently in covering the campaign.  In one instance, as I waited for a Donovan campaign appearance outside of a Staten Island grocery store, a 40-something woman headed to her car asked why I was there, cameras at the ready. Told that Donovan was expected shortly she paused and said “he knew my father. He came to my father’s wake, he’s really nice” before closing her car door and driving away.

Donovan Hindu Temple - Triple Shake

 

That nice guy persona will be tested as Donovan joins a Tea Party-driven House of Representatives. The majority of his Republican conference colleagues hold many harsher views than those expressed by Donovan throughout the campaign.  Will Donovan bend and vote with the Republican majority or proceed as a Republican outlier? Continue reading No More Mr. Nice Guy? (Updated)

NY11 Candidate Post-Voting Gaggles



Republican/Conservative/Independence Parties candidate Dan Donovan and Democratic/Working Families Parties candidate Vincent Gentile each voted this morning, with the press in attendance.  Each spoke with the press after voting and we have their full press gaggles.  Green Party candidate James Lane does not live in the district and is therefor not able to vote in today’s election.

Donovan:

Donovan was joined by his fiancé, Serena Stonick, in the Rosebank section of Staten Island.  Among Donovan’s comments: he voted for himself (but did not reveal which line), he’s “very optimistic”, low turnout is due to the unusual May date and not the circumstances around Michael Grimm’s resignation, he’s been “very blessed” by the voters of Staten Island and his campaign was “uplifting”.

Gentile:

Gentile voted at his alma mater, Fort Hamilton High School.  Among Gentile’s comments:  Donovan would be part of an “anti-New York City agenda” as part of the House Republican conference, Gentile knows Staten Island well from representing part of the borough during his three terms in the state senate and this is a “homecoming on Staten Island, not an introduction”, he’s a “Brooklynite” but considers himself an “adopted son” of Staten Island, the Garner case showed Dan Donovan to be “not upright” and “not an advocate” who “took a back seat” and he’s satisfied with the support he’s received from other Democratic elected officials.

Gentile On Voter Awareness



The 11th Congressional District special election tomorrow has posed a fundamental challenge for the candidates – getting voters attention and making them aware of the occurrence of the election.  With the campaign ending, I asked Democratic candidate Vincent Gentile about the level of awareness among voters he’s encountered.  We spoke as Gentile campaigned outside a grocery store in Graniteville.

Donovan On DA Elections & Special Elections



Republican candidate and three term Staten Island District Attorney Dan Donovan today described his three general election campaigns as similar to this congressional special election.  Donovan’s point was based on the calendar: his DA races have been in off-years (2003, 2007 and 2011) when there have been no other races to draw voters’ attention or induce them to vote.  We spoke as he knocked on doors in Dyker Heights today.

Donovan On Skelos Arrest



We asked Republican congressional candidate and Staten Island District Attorney Dan Donovan about the reported arrest of New York State Senate Temporary President & Republican Majority Leader Dean Skelos and what it says about the party or state government.  We spoke as Donovan campaigned outside a Staten Island grocery store.

Donovan At Hindu Temple



It was a mix of colorful pageantry and practical politics as Dan Donovan visited the Staten Island Hindu Temple Friday evening.

Donovan Hindu Temple - Blessing

Donovan’s visit began in the upstairs temple area, as a Hindu priest chanted prayers and bestowed a blessing on Donovan.  At the conclusion of the blessing, the priest and temple leaders wrapped a shawl around Donovan, in what they described as a sign of respect.

Donovan Hindu Temple - Shawl Continue reading Donovan At Hindu Temple

Photo Gallery: Giuliani & Donovan, Part Deux



Giuliani 4-30-15It was Rudy Giuliani Time today on Staten Island’s South Shore, as he swept through in support of Republican congressional candidate Dan Donovan.  Greeting shoppers at a Hylan Boulevard ShopRite, visiting the NYPD’s 122nd Precinct and stopping at the Arrochar Friendship Club Giuliani was an effective surrogate, drawing attention to Donovan and to the upcoming unusual Spring election on his second visit in five days for Donovan.  Our photo gallery of Giuliani’s visit is here.

Giuliani Donovan 4-30-15For Donovan, already well-known on Staten Island, the Giuliani visits have been an effective way to connect with his base.  Giuliani remains extraordinarily popular with them and using his star power to draw the base out, rather than attempting to sway non-Donovan voters, is a meaningful boost for Donovan.

Giuliani received an extremely warm reception in all three spots, with a few additional warm wishes shouted from passing cars as he and Donovan walked from the ShopRite to the 122nd Precinct.  “Rudy, we need you back” drew an appreciate chuckle.

Donovan Giuliani Borelli Ignizio

Continue reading Photo Gallery: Giuliani & Donovan, Part Deux