Last year, Mark Murphy ran a sharply negative campaign against Staten Island Congressman Michael Grimm that focused on an ongoing federal investigation into the incumbent’s 2010 fundraising efforts. The drumbeat was relentless; Mr. Murphy held regular press conferences about the investigation, worked it into his everyday messaging and even sent out direct mail with a faux mugshot of Mr. Grimm’s face on it. Despite these intense attacks, Mr. Murphy went on to lose 46 percent to 53 percent to the Republican Mr. Grimm in a swing district narrowly carried by President Barack Obama.
Councilman Domenic Recchia, who is planning to take on Mr. Grimm next year, is charting a different course for his campaign.
“Listen, I don’t get involved with people’s private lives,” Mr. Recchia told us as we sat down outside his government office earlier today. “This is not about Michael Grimm and his personal life, what he might have done or might not have done. I don’t know. This is about myself running for Congress to support the people of Staten Island and southern Brooklyn so I can really help them.”
Last Friday night, all of the candidates for local office gathered for the Richmond County American Legion Political Forum. “The candidates were contacted by letter in August, and follow-up e-mails were sent in September and early October to each, asking for confirmation of attendance,” Ted Cohen, an organizer of the event, explained in an email. “Positive responses were received from almost every candidate. There was one notable exception.”
Mark Murphy, the Democratic candidate against freshman GOP Rep. Michael Grimm, did not attend. “I find it a bit disturbing that a candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives would ignore an invitation from an important Veterans organization in his district,” Mr. Cohen continued in the letter, which can be found in full below.
Democratic congressional hopeful Mark Murphy is releasing an internal poll this afternoon that his campaign says gives him a path to victory against incumbent Congressman Michael Grimm. The numbers give Mr. Grimm a 48 percent to 36 percent lead, which represents a decent amount of ground he needs to make up by Election Day.
“This is a very encouraging poll for Mark Murphy. Congressman Grimm starts below the 50 percent mark—a sign of weakness for an incumbent,” Jeffrey Plaut, whose firm Global Strategy Group conducted the poll, said in a statement. ”Short introductions to both candidates move the race to a tie. And the more voters hear about Grimm and the questionable company he keeps, the more they prefer Murphy.”