New York: Former Assemblyman in Mix for Fossella Seat

Posted June 24, 2008 at 6:54pm

Add former state Assemblyman Matthew Mirones to the list of Republicans who could be drafted to run for the seat of retiring Rep. Vito Fossella (R) after the sudden death Sunday of retired Wall Street investor Frank Powers, who was expected to be the GOP nominee in the race to replace Fossella.

According to Web postings by the Staten Island Advance on Tuesday, Mirones is meeting with party leaders about a possible run. He represented parts of Staten Island and Brooklyn in the Assembly from 2002 to 2006, but he has not been active in local politics since then, the newspaper reported.

The paper quoted party leaders as saying that Mirones and TV journalist Lisa Giovinazzo appear to be at the head of the line of Republicans who would jump into the Congressional race. The Empire State filing deadline is July 10.

But Republicans appear to have myriad problems in their attempt to hold the 13th district seat, the lone seat in the New York City Congressional delegation in GOP hands. Not only have they grappled with the sex scandal that ended Fossella’s career, the unwillingness of highly respected elected officials to get into the race and Powers’ untimely death, but the small but influential Conservative Party may not endorse the GOP nominee in the Congressional race.

Brooklyn Conservatives have expressed their preference for Paul Atanasio, a retired banker — who could also wind up bidding for the Republican nomination. But Staten Island Conservatives appear to favor the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination, New York City Councilman Michael McMahon.

If the two county Conservative parties cannot agree on a nominee, then the state party would designate someone.