Constituents of Grimm's Former District Take Call for Special Election to Court

The governor is being sued by some residents of the 11th Congressional District, who are calling on him to hold a special election to fill Michael Grimm's vacant seat. NY1's Courtney Gross filed the following report.

Facing federal tax fraud charges, Rep. Michael Grimm resigned his seat almost six weeks ago. 

Outside of the same federal courthouse on Friday, attorneys raised questions about his still-vacant Congressional seat in front of a judge.

"Approximately 750,000 voters that comprise the 11th congressional district do not have a voice in their government, and they haven't for more than a month," said Attorney Robert Castorina Jr.

"The idea of not being able to have a representative is very disturbing to me," said plaintiff David Pascarella.

So they are suing the governor, trying to force him to call a special election immediately. It is the governor alone who sets the date.

"We are looking at it from all sides, and we will have a decision soon," Cuomo said.

The lawsuit was filed with the support of the Staten Island Republican Party. In fact, the GOP chairman told NY1 he encouraged it. His party, after all, has already picked its candidate: District Attorney Daniel Donovan. The sooner the election for the GOP, the better, as far as the party is concerned.

"I'd be very happy to support Dan Donovan to run for Congress," Pascarella said.

Meanwhile, Democrats are still struggling to find a candidate. Not surprisingly, the borough's Democratic Party has come out against the suit.

"I think you and I and the folks that comprise the rest of the congressional district are left to guess as to whether or not there is a political motive or something else," Castorina said.

"Elections are not inexpensive, right? So I understand that on one hand, you want to get an election done as soon as possible. On the other hand, they are expensive to conduct, and if you can reduce the cost to the taxpayer, that's also something very important," Cuomo said.

There is no timeline for the judge to make a decision in this case. An attorney for the plaintiffs said he hopes it's sooner rather than later.

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