RESULT: Michael McMahon (D) 61% – Robert Straniere (R) 33%
In May 2008, Rep. Vito Fossella (R) was rocked by scandal surrounding a drunk-driving arrest and revelations that he fathered a child out of wedlock. After the news broke, he announced his retirement from Congress. Democratic City Councilman Mike McMahon is now vying with Republican Robert Straniere, a former state representative, for the seat. McMahon has an edge in terms of energy: he raised half a million dollars for his Congressional campaign in under a month, and was chosen by the DCCC for their “Red to Blue” campaign. [Staten Island Advance, 6/19/08] Interestingly, the Brooklyn Conservative Party Chairman Jerry Kassar called McMahon a conservative Democrat and said his group would seriously consider supporting him. [Politico.com, 6/4/08] The Republicans struggled to field a strong candidate in this race. According to CQ Weekly, “After the party failed to coax any well-known officeholder into the race, its first fallback candidate, retired Wall Street executive Frank Powers, died. The second fallback, former state Rep. Robert Straniere, is disliked by GOP officials in Brooklyn, home to a quarter of the electorate.” [Roll Call, accessed 5/15/08]
The McMahon Position:
UNKNOWN. Democratic candidate McMahon rejected Mayor Bloomberg’s proposal which would have made undocumented immigrants eligible for driver’s license. “Not only do I find this policy threatening in terms of public safety and homeland security, but also an insult to legal immigrants who work so hard to pursue the legal path toward permanency,” said City Councilman Michael McMahon. [Staten Island Advance, 9/22/07] However, his campaign website reveals little about his position on comprehensive immigration reform.
The Straniere Position:
UNKNOWN. Straniere’s campaign website does not discuss his position on comprehensive immigration reform. [Bob Straniere for Congress, accessed 9/11/08]
New York 13th