Democratic Businessman Launching Campaign Against Grimm

Posted October 21, 2011 at 12:01pm

A 30-year-old Democratic businessman with no political experience launched a campaign today against freshman Rep. Michael Grimm (R) in New York’s Staten Island-anchored 13th district.

Alex Borgognone, a restaurateur, announced his bid, emphasizing an anti-Washington, pro-jobs message.

“We need to get Washington working so we can get America working,” he said in a statement. “Our nation’s future is at risk unless we turn this economy around and start creating jobs.”

But his hours-old political career may be at risk if his campaign is anything like his launch. Borgognone told the New York Daily News that he only voted once in his life because he had not been interested in politics. He told the paper that his party switch — Borgognone was previously a Republican — shouldn’t sway voters against backing him in a Democratic primary.

Surfing the 2010 Republican wave, Grimm beat then-freshman Rep. Michael McMahon (D) by 3 points in the general election. Democrats see Grimm’s seat as a top pickup opportunity in the Empire State. It’s unclear how redistricting will play out in the district that includes all of Staten Island and portions of Brooklyn, but the current 13th went for Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) by 2 points in the 2008 presidential election.