Republican Rep. Michael G. Grimm's expected federal indictment could be a boon for Democrats who had already targeted his seat in New York's 11th District — and there may not be much Republicans can do about it.
Both parties have closely monitored Grimm's legal situation for months, and Friday's developments could boost the electoral hopes of Grimm's chief Democratic rival, former New York City Councilman Domenic M. Recchia Jr.
Recchia was one of the party's earliest recruits of the cycle, and he reported more than $1 million in cash on hand as of March 31. Grimm will be on the general-election ballot unless one of three unlikely events takes place, according to a New York Republican source. He has already been designated by the state party as its nominee, so the only way he can be removed is by moving out of the district, running for a judgeship or being convicted before the general, the source said.
The race for the Staten Island and Brooklyn-based district, which President Barack Obama carried by 4 points in 2012, is for now rated Leans Republican by the Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call — but the race is fluid. While the overall political climate soured in recent months for Democrats, party operatives continually pointed to the Grimm seat as proof that the party is on offense.
New York Republicans had named state Sen. Andrew Lanza and New York City Councilman James Oddo as potential successors to Grimm, should he ever retire or step down from the seat, according to the New York edition of Roll Call's Farm Team series. And former Rep. Vito Fossella said last year that he's been recruited and kept the door open to a bid, according to a local report at the time .
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