New York Democrats suffered a loss late Sunday when their top pick for the special election to replace Rep. Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.) said he wouldn't run.

Assemblyman Michael Cusick (D-N.Y.) told Staten Island Live that he's happy in his current position.

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"In recent weeks many residents and leaders in Staten Island and Brooklyn have encouraged me to run for Congress from the 11th District," he said. "I am humbled and grateful for their confidence and support. After much reflection I have concluded that the best way I can continue to serve my constituents is in the New York State Assembly…I am confident that this decision is best for me and my family and the people I represent on Staten Island."


Cusick was the top pick among Democrats, but a poll a poll commissioned by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and released by Capital New York last week showed him trailing Republican Daniel DonovanDaniel (Dan) Michael DonovanThe Hill's Morning Report — Exploding immigration controversy vexes Washington Progressive group targets GOP moderates on immigration NY GOP House hopeful: No nude photos MORE by 20 points in the conservative district.

SI Live reports that Brooklyn Councilman Vincent Gentile is the second pick among Democrats, although former Rep. Michael McMahon (D-N.Y.) is also considered a top contender among Democrats and considering a run for the open seat.

Republicans have rapidly coalesced around Donovan, the Staten Island district attorney who came into the national spotlight as the prosecutor in the Eric Garner case.