DCCC Gets Its Man for Fossella Seat

Posted September 9, 2008 at 9:54pm

New York City Councilman Michael McMahon easily won the Democratic primary Tuesday in the race to replace scandal-tinged Rep. Vito Fossella (R-N.Y.) and is poised to flip the seat into the Democratic column.

McMahon trounced lawyer Stephen Harrison, the 2006 Democratic nominee against Fossella in Tuesday’s primary. With 95 percent of precincts reporting, McMahon had 74 percent of the vote to Harrison’s 26 percent.

He’ll square off in November against former state Assemblyman Robert Straniere (R), who took 59 percent of the vote in the GOP primary against physician Jamshad Wyne.

Local Republican leaders reluctantly endorsed Straniere for the seat after several popular GOP officeholders took a pass on the race. Democrats were already bidding to oust Fossella — the lone Republican in the New York City Congressional delegation — when he became embroiled in multiple scandals following a drunken-driving arrest in May. With a Republican nominee that most GOP leaders aren’t happy with and a popular local officeholder running for the Democrats, state and local Democrats believe McMahon will win in November — and most Republicans do not disagree.

“I am confident Mike McMahon will win in November and be a tremendous asset to our New Direction Caucus,” Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Chris Van Hollen (Md.) said in a statement Tuesday night.