By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Former councilman Domenic Recchia took a giant leap forward in his quest to run against incumbent U.S. Rep. Michael Grimm this November.
Recchia has been officially nominated by the Staten Island Democratic County Committee to be the party’s candidate in the race in the 11th Congressional District, a seat that includes the Brooklyn neighborhoods of Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights along with the entire borough of Staten Island.
The endorsement is significant given that the balance of power in the congressional district rests on Staten Island. The borough takes up two-thirds of the district’s population.
Recchia’s was nominated at the party’s convention, which took place Wednesday.
“I am honored to have the backing of the Democratic Committee of Staten Island. For far too long, we’ve had to endure the most ineffective congress in history, whose inaction is taking a real toll here at home,” Recchia said after the vote was taken.
Recchia is expected to garner the endorsement of the Brooklyn Democratic Party within the next few weeks.
Recchia, who represented Coney Island, Gravesend and parts of Bensonhurst as a councilman, served as chairman of the Finance Committee. A 12-year veteran of the council, he was prevented from seeking re-election by the city’s term limits law.
He is now setting his sights on toppling Grimm, a two-term congressman who is popular, but whose fundraising apparatus has been called into question. The New York Daily News reported back in 2012 that the feds are investigating people involved in fundraising for Grimm’s 2010 campaign.
The investigation is ongoing. Last month, the Staten Island Advance reported that a friend of Grimm’s, Diana Durand, was arrested and charged with using straw donors to illegally contribute to Grimm’s campaign.
Grimm himself has not been accused of any wrong doing.
Grimm, a Republican-Conservative, was also recently in the news for threatening a television news reporter. Grimm later apologized to the reporter.
Recchia said his campaign is gathering momentum. “I’m proud of the strong momentum our campaign continues to build and I know that together with the people of this district we are going to be well-poised to win this race and restore leadership in congress that can be trusted to deliver the results our community deserves,” he said.
John Gulino, chairman of the Staten Island Democratic County Committee, praised Recchia as a man who fought for local residents during his 12 years on the council.
"During his long and distinguished career as a councilman, Domenic successfully fought to keep our fire houses open, balanced city budgets and provided critical funding for Staten Island's cultural institutions and special needs community,” Gulino said.
State Sen. Diane Savino (D-Coney Island-Bensonhurst-Staten Island) nominated Recchia.
"I have worked side by side with Domenic Recchia for a decade now. He has led the fight for our schools, through the rebuilding after Sandy for our neighbors, through budget battles keeping Engine 161 in South Beach open, keeping day care slots available, and restoring senior services. While big and important things are happening on our waterfront; from resiliency to economic development, we need leadership like Domenic's because he has a record of doing it right,” Savino said.