Dems struggle to find candidate for Grimm’s seat
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Democrats haven’t found a candidate to run in the special election to replace Rep. Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.).

The Staten Island Advance is reporting that the Democratic Party in the Staten Island district interviewed three potential candidates on Wednesday night but remains on the hunt.

Democrats lost their top pick, state Assemblyman Michael Cusick, who has decided against running. The Advance report says the second preferred option among Democrats, former Rep. Michael McMahon, “has backed away from the race.”

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On Wednesday, Staten Island Democrats interviewed Brooklyn Councilman Vincent Gentile, Brooklyn Assemblyman William Colton and a Staten Island electrician named Robert Holst, according to the Advance report.

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

Donovan has said he’s running and was on Capitol Hill on Wednesday meeting with lawmakers.

Democrats face a tough battle if they are to win the special election.

Cusick was the top pick among Democrats, but a poll commissioned by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and released by Capital New York showed him trailing Donovan by 20 points in the conservative district.

Grimm resigned earlier this year after pleading guilty to one count of tax evasion. He coasted to reelection in the Staten Island district in 2014 despite a 20-count indictment hanging over his head at the time.

Still, Democrats have gained some respite, as New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been slow-walking the special election. He has discretion as to when to call it, and hasn’t indicated yet when he’ll do so.

But pressure is building on Cuomo to act. A group is suing Cuomo in an attempt to force him to call the special election for New York’s 11th District.



National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Greg Walden (Ore.) has also expressed frustration with Cuomo for not moving to fill the seat yet.