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Ex-Congressman Considers Seeking Grimm’s Seat

Grimm is a New York Republican. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Grimm is a New York Republican. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

As Rep. Michael G. Grimm, R-N.Y., reportedly prepares to enter a guilty plea Tuesday to at least one of the 20 felony charges against him, his former foe confirmed he is being recruited to run for the Staten Island seat.  

Former Rep. Michael E. McMahon, D-N.Y., said he is not ruling out a bid in a brief phone interview with CQ Roll Call Tuesday morning. McMahon said he is not rushing to make a decision, citing the need to mourn the two police officers killed in a fatal shooting in Brooklyn over the weekend.  

“Here in New York, we are really broken-hearted about these officers who’ve been killed, and that’s everyone’s main focus,” McMahon said. “It’s not something that I’m ruling out or ruling in, but it will get serious consideration after we mourn our tragic losses here.”  

McMahon held the Staten Island-based district for one term in 2008. Two years later, the Democrat lost to Grimm by a 3-point margin in a GOP wave.  

McMahon is now an attorney in New York with the practice Herrick, Feinstein LLP, and he mulled running against Grimm in 2014 , but ultimately opted against a bid.  

Despite his legal woes, Grimm won re-election by a 13-point margin last month by defeating a Brooklyn Democrat in the 11th District. It was a major blow for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which began looking toward redemption in this district in 2016 just days after the midterms wrapped up.  

“I’ve been hearing from a lot of old friends,” McMahon told CQ Roll Call. “I’m getting a lot of calls.”  

Asked whether Grimm should step down if he pleads guilty to tax evasion, McMahon said, “I expect him to do what is right. What he said he would do to live by his statements, that’s for him to decide.”  

Grimm previously told a radio show that he would step down if found guilty.  

Speaker John A. Boehner has been mum about the next steps Congress would take if Grimm refuses to step aside. Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi called for Boehner to push Grimm to resign .  

In the event of a vacancy in the seat, New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo must decide if or when to call a special election for the seat. Party leaders in the counties within the congressional district would vote on their party’s nominee.  

On the GOP side, Republicans have floated state Sen. Andrew Lanza and Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis as possible candidates.  


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