Candidates for Congress to replace Michael Grimm are now hitting the campaign trail, weighing in on issues that go beyond their current districts. NY1's Courtney gross filed this report.
The date for a special election to replace Michael Grimm has been set, so now both Republican Dan Donovan and Democrat Vincent Gentile are hitting the campaign trail.
"My friends from Brooklyn invited me to come over," Donovan said.
"I think we have a unified party," Gentile said.
The Staten Island district attorney officially received the backing of the Brooklyn GOP on Tuesday, while Brooklyn City Councilman Vincent Gentile was courting Staten Island Democrats.
"I have never ran against Vinny, so I really don't know what it's going to be about," Donovan said.
"I think time is my biggest obstacle," Gentile said.
These two are now weighing in on issues beyond their current positions as they look to represent voters of Brooklyn and Staten Island in Congress.
Donovan, for one, argues Washington should explore deporting immigrants here illegally.
"It's a very difficult task so I don't know how we would go about doing it. So that should be explored. I just think we should reward people that are following through the process, following the process," Donovan said.
Both were critical of holding up funding for the Department of Homeland Security—a maneuver by Republicans in Washington.
"For us to be showing the world that we have a dispute where the Department of Homeland Security is shutting down because there's some political dispute that the Republicans have with the president seems very petty," said Gentile.
"I do think we have to fund the Department of Homeland Security. We lost nearly 300 people from Staten Island in that tragedy in lower Manhattan in 2001," Donovan said.
They appeared to be on opposite sides when it comes to approving the Keystone Pipeline.
"I am in favor of the Keystone Pipeline. I think it's going to create jobs and make us more independent on energy," Donovan said.
"I think there are a lot of questions about the Keystone Pipeline and so we will talk about it as the campaign goes on," said Gentile.
These candidates are really just getting started. The special election will be held on May 5.