Being a candidate for political office in a district that spans two boroughs brings special challenges. It means that you have to do a lot of traveling on a large, extended campaign trail and that you need to have two campaign headquarters to ensure that both ends of the district are being covered.
Domenic Recchia, the former Democratic councilman from Brooklyn running against indicted incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. Michael Grimm in the Brooklyn-Staten Island 11th Congressional District, opened a campaign headquarters on Staten Island back in March. On June 29, it was Brooklyn’s turn.
Recchia was joined by more than 50 volunteers as he opened his Brooklyn campaign headquarters at the Stars and Stripes Democratic Club at 7321 15th Ave. in Bensonhurst.
"This campaign isn't political, it's personal," Recchia told his supporters. "As the husband of a public school teacher and father of three girls, I understand what working families are going through across this district. I relate to families in this district, and it's that personal connection that drives me each and every day on the campaign trail, meeting with voters across the district to discuss the difficult issues facing the middle class today."
Recchia’s wife Kimberly is a public school teacher in Brooklyn. The couple has three daughters.
Recchia vowed to fight for families if he is elected to congress. “From job creation to transportation to education, families in Brooklyn and Staten Island deserve a leader who will fight for them for them in Washington, and give them the voice and attention they need,” he said.
Many of Recchia’s fellow Democrats, including state Sen. Diane Savino (D-Coney Island-Bensonhurst-Staten Island), Assemblyman Peter Abbate (D-Bensonhurst-Sunset Park), Assemblyman Alec Brook-Krasny (D-Bay Ridge-Coney Island) and Councilman Vincent Gentile (D-Bay Ridge-Dyker Heights-Bensonhurst), were there to help him dedicate the campaign headquarters.
The 11th Congressional District, which Grimm has represented since 2010, covers the entire borough of Staten Island and takes all or parts of several Brooklyn neighborhoods, including Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst and Gravesend. Staten Island is the largest portion of the district. Approximately two-thirds of district’s voters live there. Grimm lives on Staten Island. Recchia and his family live in Brooklyn.
As Recchia celebrated the opening of his Brooklyn campaign headquarters, Grimm, who was indicted in April on tax fraud and other charges, was also hitting the campaign trail and making public appearances. Immediately after he was indicted, Grimm told USA Today that he had no intention of quitting congress and would fight the criminal charges.
Grimm scheduled a visit with the residents and staff of the St. Nicholas Home, a senior citizens residence in Bay Ridge, on July 1 to present the facility with a new American flag recently flown over the U.S. Capitol in Washington DC.
Grimm’s staff said the congressman made the gesture because he wanted to replace a worn-out flag flying on the home’s flagpole.
The Staten Island Advance reported last month that Grimm, a former FBI agent, is placing the blame for his indictment at the feet of President Barack Obama. Grimm told supporters during a campaign appearance that the Obama Administration is seeking to remove him from office because he is the only Republican member of congress in New York City.
Also last month, Grimm appeared on Geraldo Rivera’s radio show, where he told the host, “i'm doing well because the outpouring of support has just been incredible.”