Editor's Note: Every year, scores of congressional candidates visit the CQ Roll Call offices to meet with reporters and Contributing Editor Stuart Rothenberg. This new feature, “The Candidate,” will ask these congressional hopefuls five questions about their campaigns. Responses and questions have been edited and condensed.
Have a question for a candidate? We’ll announce their visits via Twitter, and you can tweet your inquiry to @RollCall or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The candidate: New York City Council Member Domenic M. Recchia Jr. The member: Two-term Rep. Michael G. Grimm, R-N.Y. The district: Nearly three-quarters of this district is in Staten Island, but it also crosses New York Harbor into Brooklyn. President Barack Obama won the 11th District’s vote 52 percent to 47 percent, but Grimm won the seat by 7 points. The candidate’s team: Jefrey Pollock of Global Strategy Group (polling); the rest of the team has yet to be announced.
1. You raised $412,000 last quarter. How much will you need to compete in the New York City media market?
Four million dollars.
2. You live in Brooklyn, but a majority of voters in this district live on Staten Island. How do you bridge that divide?
It’s not a question of Brooklyn versus Staten Island. It’s a question of the whole district is going to be represented by someone who is out there that understands the issues, who’s going to stand up for the middle class ... who has a record of delivering four [city] budgets on time without raising taxes, prevented firehouses from being closed on Staten Island, working with the people, and is able to bring the resources that are needed to Staten Island.
My family lives on Staten Island. My mother lives there. My three sisters live there. My nieces and nephews. I talk to people every day. My father built on Staten Island before the bridge was up. I have a lot of contacts with Staten Island.
[After the jump: Recchia on former Rep. Anthony Weiner's mayoral campaign and his favorite Coney Island ride.]
3. What did you think of Mr. Weiner’s mayoral rollout today? (Recchia endorsed New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn in the 2013 mayoral race earlier this year.)
I was shocked to learn that he’s entering the race. And he’s just ... he thinks he could win. I wish him luck, but I really believe that the people of New York [are] not ready for someone to represent them with his type of past and his problems. I think people of New York are tired of having someone represent them with a cloud over them.
The big question is what do we tell the children in our public schools? This is our mayor. Look what he’s done.
4. If you are elected, will you vote for Nancy Pelosi for speaker?
I don’t know who’s going to be running for speaker. We have no idea who’s going to be the next speaker. I’m a Democrat. I support Democrats and we’ll see what happens.
5. Coney Island is in your city council district. What’s your favorite ride and how many times have you been on it?
[Laughs] The Cyclone! I’ve ridden it hundreds of times throughout my life.