By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Councilman Domenic Recchia Jr., who flirted with the idea of running for Brooklyn borough president and then city comptroller before rejecting both bids, has apparently found a public office more to his liking. He has announced his intention to run for congress.
Recchia (D-Coney Island) said he will file official papers later this week to run for the House seat in the 11th Congressional District. The seat is currently held by Rep. Michael Grimm (R-C), who won re-election to his second term last November. The next congressional election will take place in 2014.
Recchia, who has served three terms in the council, is the second prominent Democrat to set his sights on ousting Grimm from the congressional seat. The Staten Island Advance reported that former Rep. Michael McMahon, the man Grimm defeated in 2010 in an anti-incumbent year, is believed considering making a political comeback and running for his old seat.
If McMahon throws his hat into the ring, he and Recchia would face each other in a Democratic Party primary for the right to be the party’s candidate in the general election in November of 2014.
The 11th C.D. covers the entire borough of Staten Island and comes across the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge to take in Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, and parts of Bensonhurst.
Two-thirds of the district’s voters reside on Staten Island. Both Grimm and McMahon live there.
Recchia, who chairs the council’s powerful Finance Committee, is prevented by the city’s term limits law from seeking another term in office. He rejected the idea of running for borough president. He then considered a run for city comptroller, but changed his mind.
Recchia issued a statement on Feb. 18 outlining his reasons for seeking the congressional seat.
“I am running because I believe we need leadership in Washington that gets results, leadership that can be trusted, and leadership that is willing to stand up and fight for a better future for the people of Staten Island and south Brooklyn,” he said.
“The challenges facing our country are daunting, and in the wake of Superstorm Sandy, the challenges facing the 11th District, in particular, are arduous. The current leadership in Congress has shown time and again that it is more interested in finding who to blame for problems, rather than sitting down to solve them. I’m not interested in that kind of politics,” Recchia said.
In recent months, Recchia has been working almost non-stop on relief efforts in the Coney Island section of his council district. The neighborhood’s residents suffered massive damage to their homes in Hurricane Sandy. Recchia’s own district office was flooded in the super-storm.
“I’m running to make a difference and now, more than ever, the people of Staten Island and south Brooklyn need a representative in Washington who knows how to get results. I have a record of doing just that—tackling big issues and working across party lines to get big results for the people of New York,” he said.
Recchia, a lawyer, served on Community School Board 21 prior to his election to the council in 2001. He is a founder of the Council for Unity, a Bensonhurst-based group that seeks to foster positive relations between New Yorkers of different races and religious backgrounds.
Recchia was born and raised in Gravesend and graduated from local public schools, PS 215, David Boody Intermediate School, and John Dewey High School. He earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Kent State University and his law degree from Atlanta Law School.
He and his wife Kim, a public school teacher, have three daughters.