New York: Fossella Won’t Try to Return to Congress

Posted May 26, 2010 at 6:14pm

Former Rep. Vito Fossella (R) won’t be trying for a comeback after all — at least not this year.

Fossella announced Wednesday he won’t try to reclaim the 13th district seat that he relinquished in 2008 amid a personal scandal involving a drunken-driving arrest and a secret child from an extramarital affair.

But he did not rule out running again, saying, “What the future holds, I have no idea,” and “It’s a wonderful thing to see people stand by you in good times and bad.”

Last week, the executive committee of the Staten Island Republican Party voted to back Fossella to carry the party’s banner in November — an endorsement that Fossella said came as a surprise.

At the time, Staten Island GOP Chairman John Friscia called Fossella “the strongest candidate we can field.”

The full Staten Island GOP committee is scheduled to meet today to choose either environmental policy expert Michael Allegretti or security consultant Michael Grimm as its nominee to face freshman Rep. Michael McMahon (D). The loser could choose to force a primary.

According to the New York Daily News, a campaign spokeswoman for McMahon said the incumbent “will welcome his opponent into the race, whenever the GOP decides who that is.”

“Congressman McMahon wishes the Fossella family well,” McMahon campaign spokeswoman Jennifer Nelson said.