The race for Congress on Staten Island is angrily revolving around Hurricane Sandy, as the two candidates were clashing Friday on the borough's recovery after the storm. NY1's Courtney Gross filed the following report.
As Michael Grimm and Domenic Recchia face off in a heated Congressional contest, they are arguing over who did what to help victims of Hurricane Sandy.
"The facts are that I have delivered for Staten Island time and time again," Grimm said. "During Sandy as a freshman, $60 billion, I was one of four members of Congress in the room."
"For 80 days, we had to wait to get a Sandy bill passed through Congress," Recchia said. "It was the Republican Congress."
Being a Republican, of course, is not something Grimm sees as a problem.
"Do we really think that my opponent would hold [Mayor Bill] de Blasio's feet to the fire? He obviously hasn't," Grimm said. "He was in City Council last year and he didn't hold one meeting, not one meeting to ask why we're not getting the Sandy money we deserve."
Recchia's campaign fired back, pointing to a series of hearings held by the City Council.
"There wasn't anyone responsible to go to on the ground," Recchia said at one hearing on January 17, 2013.
On the ground on Friday, Recchia slammed Grimm for skipping a meeting with the new mayor on Hurricane Sandy recovery.
"Michael Grimm decided to go to a Justin Timberlake concert before going to a meeting," Recchia said. "The people of Staten Island weren't important enough."
It's clear that Grimm is not courting de Blasio, whose favorability on Staten Island is low, according to a new poll.
Instead, Grimm said he is helping Hurricane Sandy victims from his work in Washington. This week, after much delay, Congress passed his legislation to repeal high flood insurance premiums.
"Everyone said it would never get done, it was almost impossible,, the full committee chairman was against the bill, and we got it done with over 300 votes," Grimm said.
Don't expect the issue of who did what during and after Hurricane Sandy to end any time soon. It's expected to be one of the most prominent issues in the race.