Max Rose latest candidate to take on Donovan
Democrat says he’ll help middle class
The unpopularity of President Donald Trump, who is stuck with approval ratings below 40 percent in most polls, has emboldened Democrats to run for public office, even in a Republican stronghold like the 11th Congressional District.
Max Rose, a U.S. Army veteran, is the latest Democrat to declare his intention to run for the congressional seat in 2018. The 11th Congressional District, represented by Republican-Conservative U.S. Rep. Dan Donovan, covers the entire borough of Staten Island and takes in all or parts of several neighborhoods in Southwest Brooklyn, including Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst and Gravesend.
Rose joins a crowded field of Democrats looking to challenge Donovan in a district that has traditionally voted Republican.
The list of candidates who have already declared includes Zach Emig, a bond trader who volunteered on Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign; Boyd Melson, a retired boxer; Michael DeCillis, a retired New York City police officer; and Michael DeVito Jr., an executive at a nonprofit organization.
In an open letter to voters, Rose vowed to fight for the middle class if he is elected to Congress.
“Take a walk down Forest Avenue or 86th Street and you’ll see them: A mom getting home from her night shift at the hospital, a dad headed out for his tour at a firehouse, a veteran who served her country overseas. They put it all on the line every time they step out the door and they deserve to be represented by someone who shows up for them. That’s why I’m running for Congress. The people of Staten Island and South Brooklyn show up every day for their community. They need a congressman who will do the same for them,” Rose wrote.
Rose also wrote about his experiences as a combat infantry captain and how it formed his world view.
“Ordinary people put in the work, and then get left out of the prosperity they help to create. Benefits get cut. Taxes go up. And they still can’t plan for their kid’s future, no matter what they do. I know sometimes it can be hard to believe that anything will make a difference, but as a combat infantry captain in the army I saw the true potential of this country. The troops I served with in Afghanistan did the impossible every day because that’s what their country asked of them. We are capable of so much more as a country. I’ve seen what happens when we work together as a team and put our country over partisan politics,” he wrote.
Any effort to unseat Donovan would be an uphill battle, according to most political experts, who point out that the Brooklyn-Staten Island district leans heavily Republican in terms of voting patterns.
The congressional seat has been held by a Republican since the early 1980s, except for a two-year span in 2008-2010, when former City Councilmember Michael McMahon was elected the same year Barack Obama won the White House. Two years later, McMahon lost to Republican Michael Grimm, who was swept into office in a GOP wave inspired by the Tea Party.
Grimm resigned from congress in 2015 after pleading guilty to a federal tax fraud charge.
Donovan, the former Staten Island district attorney, won the congressional seat in a special election in May of 2015. He was re-elected in 2016.
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