Now-former Republican Rep. Michael Grimm
On Monday, Republican Rep. Michael Grimm officially resigned from the House
, bringing an end to a turbulent four-year career. Almost since the moment Grimm won his Staten Island seat in the 2010 Republican wave, Grimm has been under scrutiny. However, in the end Grimm wasn't done in by reports that he abused his authority as an FBI agent in a 1999 incident that involved a loaded gun
. Nor was it the accusations that the congressman used a rabbi to funnel illegal campaign money
. He even won re-election after threatening to break a reporter in half "like a boy," and throw him over the House balcony—all while on camera
. And needless to say, Grimm walked off a story about his wild 17-minutes of bathroom sex
In the end, Grimm was brought down by old-fashioned tax evasion. In late December Grimm pleaded guilty to falsifying tax returns for his restaurant before he was elected to the House. Grimm, who will be sentenced in June, originally said he would stay in the House but soon changed course. A special election will be held at a to-be-determined date, and both parties are expected to compete for this seat. Obama won 52-47 here in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, but this seat has traditionally sent Republicans to Washington.
In New York special elections, local party committees pick their nominees rather than voters. On the GOP side, Richmond County District Attorney Daniel Donovan hasn't officially declared his intentions but there's little doubt that he's running. Prominent Staten Island Republicans wasted no time endorsing him, and it's very hard to see how he doesn't get the nomination. Donovan attracted a good deal of national attention after he was unable (or unwilling) to indict the officer who killed Eric Garner and it remains to be seen how the case will impact his electoral chances. However, Republicans are expected to use Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio to attack Team Blue's eventual nominee.
Things are much more unsettled on the Democratic side, with Assemblyman Mike Cusick, former Rep. Michael McMahon, Assemblyman William Colton, and Councilman Vincent Gentile all considering runs. There's a lot of unpredictability left in this race, and we'll be keeping track of the developments at Daily Kos Elections as things unfold.