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After digging in his heels over the past few weeks, scandal-plagued Republican Rep. Vito Fossella has decided not to seek reelection.

From the New York Times:

After more than two weeks of damaging and scandal-filled headlines, Representative Vito J. Fossella of Staten Island has decided not to seek another term in Congress, according to several people close to him.

From Fossella's statement:

"Despite the personal mistakes I have made, I am touched by the outpouring of support and encouragement I have received from so many people. Their kind words and prayers during this difficult time mean more to me than I can express. And while many have urged me to run for re-election, I believe this course of action is best for my family and our community."

In Fossella's absence, Staten Island District Attorney Daniel Donovan is the likely Republican choice for the race. Apparently John Boehner himself has courted Donovan for the race. Another Republican possibility is State Senator Andrew Lanza.

Swing State Project reports that the Democratic frontrunner in the race, Brooklyn-based City Councilman Domenic Recchia, is likely to bow out of the race. Recchia would be an underdog despite his impressive fundraising, as the bulk of the district is based in Staten Island, and not Brooklyn.

With Recchia out, the lone Democrat in the race is attorney and 2006 candidate Steve Harrison. He is likely to be joined by a high-profile Staten Island Democrat; most of the talk has revolved around State Senator Diane Savino, New York Assemblyman Michael Cusick, and New York City Councilman Mike McMahon.

All of those three are Staten Islanders, and it's likely, as Jonah from the excellent NY13 blog says, that the state and national parties will coalesce around one of them to avoid splitting the Staten Island vote.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Tue May 20, 2008 at 10:50 AM PDT.

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