Donovan fends off Grimm to win GOP primary

Donovan fends off Grimm to win GOP primary
© Greg Nash

New York Rep. Dan Donovan is projected to win his Republican primary Tuesday night, fending off a tough challenge from hard-charging former Rep. Michael Grimm.

Donovan is poised to move onto the general election after media outlets projected him the winner. At the time of the call, he had 64 percent of the vote to Grimm’s 36 percent. The Associated Press called the race for Donovan.

The GOP primary for the Staten Island-area district quickly turned into one of the more brutal – and intriguing – races in the nation this cycle.

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As the incumbent, Donovan had the backing of virtually the entire state GOP establishment while he sought to hang Grimm’s tax-fraud conviction around his neck as proof he both can’t be trusted and would be a risk in the general election.

Both the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Republican Main Street Partnership ran ads in the district on Donovan’s behalf, framing him as a reliable vote for the area.

But Grimm leaned on his polarizing tenure in Congress to frame himself as the true defender of President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump: Dems playing destructive 'con game' with Kavanaugh Several Yale Law classmates who backed Kavanaugh call for misconduct investigation Freedom Caucus calls on Rosenstein to testify or resign MORE’s agenda, hitting Donovan for a litany of votes where he claims Donovan failed the president.

The race grew even more intense in its final weeks with Grimm lobbing an explosive accusation against Donovan, claiming the incumbent GOP lawmaker offered to seek a presidential pardon for Grimm in exchange for him not launching a primary challenge this year.

Despite Grimm’s push to tout his support for Trump, the president eventually endorsed Donovan, a result that dealt a heavy blow to his pro-Trump pitch.

Now Donovan will face off against Democrat Max Rose, an Army veteran and former health-care non-profit executive. Donovan is considered the favorite in a district Trump won by about 10 points in 2016. But Rose has put together a strong campaign that Democrats hope can make the district competitive.