Brooklyn Boro

Brooklyn, Staten Island voters set to pick between Donovan, Grimm

Rose leads Democratic field

June 26, 2018 By Michael Sisak & Deepti Hajela Associated Press
In this June 23, 2018, file photo, incumbent U.S. Rep. Dan Donovan, R-N.Y., center left, and former U.S. Rep. Michael Grimm, right, attend a property tax protest rally with New York State Assembly member Nicole Malliotakis, R-Staten Island, center, in the Staten Island borough of New York. Grimm and Donavan are running against one another in the Republican Congressional primary for the 11th Congressional District. AP Photo/Craig Ruttle, File
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New York City’s only Republican congressman, U.S. Rep. Daniel Donovan, will try to hold off a fierce challenge in the state’s primary election Tuesday from former U.S. Rep. Michael Grimm, who is trying to make a political comeback after serving prison time for tax fraud.

The fight between the two Republicans is the most closely watched race in New York congressional primaries. 

Polling stations across the state close at 9 p.m.

The primary’s main event is the faceoff in a district based in New York City’s Staten Island between Donovan, who is running for his third term, and Grimm, who quit Congress in 2015 after pleading guilty to hiring people who were living in the country illegally and evading income taxes at a restaurant he owned. A year earlier, he became enraged at a reporter who asked him about that probe, threatening to hurl him off a U.S. Capitol balcony.

On the campaign trail, Grimm has decried his prosecution as politically motivated and assailed Donovan as a lightweight who hasn’t done enough for his constituents.

Donovan, who was Staten Island’s district attorney before becoming a congressman, has in turn called Grimm, who served more than seven months in prison, an untrustworthy tax cheat.

Both men have proclaimed themselves to be loyal foot soldiers for President Donald Trump, who won Staten Island in the 2016 presidential election. Trump endorsed Donovan, saying in a tweet that he can win in November “and his opponent will not.”

“We can’t take any chances on losing to a Nancy Pelosi controlled Democrat!” Trump said.

Six Democrats are competing for the right to take on the winner of the Donovan vs. Grimm fight. They include Max Rose, an Army combat veteran with party establishment support who already has raised nearly $1 million in anticipation of going on to the general election.

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