With more than a year to go until the election, Democrats are already gearing up for the battle to gain the 17 seats needed for control of the House, with their eyes cast particularly on the seat held by Republican Michael Grimm of Staten Island and Brooklyn. NY1's Michael Scotto filed the following report.
As Congressman Michael Grimm makes his rounds this August recess, his competitive streak comes out at a camp on Staten Island.
It's good practice for next year's election, as Democrats are already going after him, accusing the Republican of being too close to GOP leadership.
New York City Councilman Domenic Recchia is Grimm's likely opponent.
"Michael Grimm is in the pocket of John Boehner," Recchia said.
"I voted against my party so many times that I've been criticized by the right constantly, so he's misleading people, because he knows I'm a really good congressman, and he doesn't have a prayer," Grimm said.
The Washington Post calculates that Grimm votes with Republicans 84 percent of the time, but the congressman does break with his colleagues on some issues.
He is opposed to shutting down the government in order to defund the Affordable Care Act.
"I don't support shutting down government, I do support repealing Obamacare, but you know how we really do that as Republicans? We win the presidency and we win the Senate," Grimm said.
Democrats are also trying to make an issue of an investigation into Grimm's fundraising practices.
At this point in the race, however, Grimm is viewed as the favorite in a district that includes all of Staten Island and just a sliver of Brooklyn.
One of the biggest challenges facing Recchia may have nothing to do with politics, but instead location, since he lives across the Verrazano Bridge in Brooklyn and not on Staten Island.
Still, Recchia wants voters to know that he's always thinking about the borough.
"My mother lives on Staten Island," Recchia said.
He also wants to voters to know that he's dedicated to find ways to shower the borough with council pork.
"As the finance Chairman, I funded millions of dollars for different programs on Staten Island," Recchia said.
In fact, his name is all over a taxpayer-funded council newsletter for a district he doesn't even represent.
A spokesperson for the councilman says Recchia didn't ask to be included in it.
Recchia knows, however, that he needs to get his name out, as he prepares to go up against a congressman who is ready to fight.