The leading candidate in the special election to replace Michael Grimm in Congress says it's worth the cost. NY1's Courtney Gross filed the following report.
Typically, a prosecutor is trying to put away people under indictment. But ask District Attorney Dan Donovan about Michael Grimm, the former disgraced congressman, and you get this kind of response:
"I'm not too sure what Michael's thought process was. It was a personal decision of his whether or not he thought he could still serve the people of the district while he was dealing with his other matters," Donovan said.
Those other matters were a federal indictment. Grimm faced 20 counts.
Nonetheless, last November, Donovan cast his ballot for him.
"In November, I did vote for Michael Grimm," Donovan said.
Fast forward. Grimm was re-elected, but then pleaded guilty to one count and resigned days into his third term. Now, Donovan is looking to replace him, running as the GOP candidate in a special election Governor Andrew Cuomo is slated to call imminently.
"I don't know what the governor's decision was based on, but I'm just very glad that we're going to have it," Donovan said. "I mean, we've gone too long now without representation down in Washington."
It's taking a federal judge to force Cuomo to call the election, something the governor has been ordered to do by noon on Friday.
"On one hand, you want to have a special election right away to fill a vacant seat so people have representation. On the other hand, these special elections are very expensive to do," Cuomo said Wednesday.
"I can appreciate his concerns about the expense," Donovan said. "But in this case, the benefits of having a representative in the 11th congressional district down in Washington outweighs the cost of the election."
That special election will most likely be paired with another vacancy in Brooklyn. Assemblyman Karim Camara is slated to step down at midnight on Friday to take a job with the Cuomo administration.
Cuomo has said pairing the two elections together will save cash. The districts do not overlap.
The Board of Elections told NY1 that the total price tag for both will be $1.25 million. Any savings, officials say, will be small, but they support holding both elections on the same day.