Thursday, December 18, 2014

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Eyes on Recchia in Congressional Race Against Grimm

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Staten Island Rep. Michael Grimm may face a 20-count indictment, but his opponent this November is not calling for him to step down, as it instead appears that he is looking for a race. NY1's Courtney Gross filed the following report.

All eyes are now on little-known Domenic Recchia.

The Brooklyn-bred former City Councilman may be able to capitalize on the current congressman's recent indictment.

For now, he has not called for Michael Grimm's resignation.

"That is something that Michael Grimm has to decide for himself, what's best for him and his future," Recchia said.

This week's 20-count indictment seems to have given Recchia enough to go on.

"As a former FBI agent, he should have known better than anyone what the law was," Recchia said.

Recchia is referring to one specific charge in the indictment. The U.S. attorney has accused the congressman of hiring undocumented immigrants and paying them off the books.

The question now becomes, will immigration reform become an issue on the campaign trail?

"The Senate put forward a bipartisan immigration bill, comprehensive immigration reform package, in the Senate, and that's what I would support, and that's what we need to get done now," Recchia said.

Grimm does not support that. His position is more nuanced, repeatedly saying he supports reform but with conditions like border security.

"I want to see a pathway to legalization that is fair and responsible and makes this country a better place, and is, I think, what the American people want," he said in July 2013.

Grimm has said he still plans to run for re-election. For now, he has the local Republican party on Staten Island by his side. The state party has been less enthusiastic.

"We can change horses," said State Republican Party Chairman Edward Cox. "I haven't looked at the indictment yet. I haven't looked at whether it is political or not."

One of the only possibilities for the GOP to get Grimm off the ballot would be to nominate the congressman for a judgeship. To be a judge, you need to be a registered attorney in good standing for 10 years.

As of Wednesday afternoon, the congressman's registration was past due. NY1 alerted his office of that, and it has since been changed. It's now current. ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP