Councilman Explores Race Against Fossella

Posted September 18, 2007 at 11:18am

New York City Councilman Dominic Recchia (D) has taken a step closer to challenging Rep. Vito Fossella (R) next year. Recchia, the Staten Island Advance reported Sunday, has formed an exploratory committee and will begin raising money for a possible House bid.

Although the majority of the 13th district’s voters live in Staten Island and Recchia represents Brooklyn in the council, party leaders believe the councilman’s status as an Italian-American and political centrist with a proven track record of fundraising would make him competitive against Fossella.

But if Recchia runs, he would probably face a Democratic primary with attorney Steve Harrison, who as the 2006 nominee took 43 percent against Fossella despite operating on a shoestring budget. Harrison told the Advance he has no intention of deferring to Recchia.

“The question is, ‘Why?’” Harrison said. “I’m the one who established the beachhead against Vito Fossella.”

Meanwhile, Recchia’s Council colleague, Michael McMahon (D), who had also been contemplating the Congressional race, all but took himself out of contention.

“I haven’t said anything definitively, but I’ve formed no campaign committees and I have not raised any money. You can read the tea leaves there,” McMahon told the Advance.

— Josh Kurtz