Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 9, 2016

GOP Could Be Stuck With Grimm, Despite Expected Indictment

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Republican Rep. Michael G. Grimm’s expected federal indictment could be a boon for Democrats who had already targeted his seat in New York’s 11th District — and there may not be much Republicans can do about it.

Both parties have closely monitored Grimm’s legal situation for months, and Friday’s developments could boost the electoral hopes of Grimm’s chief Democratic rival, former New York City Councilman Domenic M. Recchia Jr.

Recchia was one of the party’s earliest recruits of the cycle, and he reported more than $1 million in cash on hand as of March 31.

Grimm will be on the general-election ballot unless one of three unlikely events takes place, according to a New York Republican source. He has already been designated by the state party as its nominee, so the only way he can be removed is by moving out of the district, running for a judgeship or being convicted before the general, the source said.

The race for the Staten Island and Brooklyn-based district, which President Barack Obama carried by 4 points in 2012, is for now rated Leans Republican by the Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call — but the race is fluid. While the overall political climate soured in recent months for Democrats, party operatives continually pointed to the Grimm seat as proof that the party is on offense.

New York Republicans had named state Sen. Andrew Lanza and New York City Councilman James Oddo as potential successors to Grimm, should he ever retire or step down from the seat, according to the New York edition of Roll Call’s Farm Team series. And former Rep. Vito Fossella said last year that he’s been recruited and kept the door open to a bid, according to a local report at the time.

Fossella announced his retirement from Congress in 2008 after a drunken driving arrest. He pleaded guilty to the charge in 2009.


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Rep. Michael Grimm Expected to Be Indicted

Reviews in for Grimm’s Healthalicious, and They’re Not Good

Bill Maher’s Audience Targets Grimm, Farenthold

Capitol Journalists Opt to Lay Rep. Grimm’s Threat to Rest


Congressman Who Threatened Reporter Rakes in Campaign Cash


After Threatening Local Reporter, Michael Grimm Apologizes for ‘Losing His Cool’

Michael Grimm Threatens to Throw Reporter Off Balcony (Video)

  • terjeanderson

    The article is incorrect when it says that Grimm could be removed from the ballot if he moves out of the district.

    There is no district residency requirement to run for Congress. Under New York law, a candidate can be removed if they are no longer eligible to hold the seat they are running for – meaning that Grimm would need to take up legal residence out of state, not just out of the district.

  • mabramso

    Of course, he does live just over the river, so that is a viable option … but the GOP is at his mercy.

  • Jack Everett

    If he does not want to live there he doesn’t deserve the job.

  • altonrobinson

    Strange that the deal about mendeza having sex with an under age girl and taking rewards from one of his contributors has some how been lost. I have not heard anything more, last I heard he promised to pay back and he did not know it was illegal. If he is that dumb he does not need to be a senator. And I guess cause the girl was foreigner makes that ok.

  • Layla

    This is a district not known for high ethics, sadly.

  • Layla

    No, his constituents are at his mercy and the rest of the country. And indictment should mean immediate dismissal from public office.

  • mabramso

    Should, yes, but does, no. And his constituents are free to vote him out of office, and they probably will. Unfortunately, the alternative will be probably be a Democrat.

  • Goon’s ND Redneck

    You would think that the Ethics committee would/could have a hearing on him.

  • Goon’s ND Redneck

    It’s not like Charles Rangel has very good ethics either.

  • JayfromBrooklyn

    Indictment is an accusation. Innocent until proven guilty.

  • JayfromBrooklyn

    Actually, yes. He did not break US law.

  • altonrobinson

    I can tell you are one obammas lap dogs. I guess it is only for Republicans taking money and other things over a set amount illegal.

  • JayfromBrooklyn

    So, Republicans should get away with illegal activity?

  • JayfromBrooklyn

    Must be the proximity to Jersey…

  • Jack Everett

    More of the party of purity double standards.

  • Alice Boxstrom

    Since our minds develop along with the culture in which we grow up, we tend to be ignorant of the unseen history of the customs we practice.

  • altonrobinson

    No, both should follow the Constitution and the laws of the land. But the msm and libs no not condemn the libs and even help to give them a free pass.

  • Amanda Hugenkiss

    But that doesn’t mean that Grimm can’t be removed from the congressional ballot if he accepts a judicial nomination, a la Rick Lazio running for Bronx Supreme Court in 2010.

  • terjeanderson

    That’s absolutely true, but it would require a political party (presumably Republican or Conservative) to nominate him for a judgeship election (in a race where the party lacks a candidate and has a vacancy to fill).

    While they might be willing to do that to get him off the ballot, they would take a lot of flak for nominating an indicted public official for a judgeship.

    And that’s different than the Lazio situation, where giving him the nomination was the only way to remove him from the Conservative Party line in the general election (so Paladino could have it after winning the Republican primary). There is a difference, at least perception-wise, between doing so to remove a candidate from the ballot because he had lost a major party nomination, and removing one because his scandal and continued candidacy is embarrassing to the party.

    But you are completely correct – if Grimm agreed to accept a county judicial nomination offered by a party willing to give it to him, he could be removed from the ballot without legally moving out of state. I was simply pointing out that – contrary to what the story said – moving out of the district would not be sufficient.

  • mrf95

    Roll Call needs to update its Farm Team. James Oddo is no longer a council member since he was elected to SI Borough President last November and inaugurated back in January. It’s highly doubtful that he would seek the congressional seat.

  • Hitched

    Although making the most of one’s abilities may sometimes be frowned upon, it is the greatest contribution one can make to a free country.

  • Yonatan YONATAN

    I can’t believe that after ALL of this time, and after break after break, we still have no extension bill passed in the senate. This proves that the republican party never had ANY intention to pass this bill REGARDLESS of what concession was offered to them. These republican senators have shown their true distain for the poor people in this country. There can be no other explanation for their lack of total compassion and empathy with those in our country who are hurting financially in one of the worse recessions in many years. As a “FORMER” republican, I’m shocked and disappointed by the party that once was my own. I will NEVER EVER vote for a republican again in the future, and will encourage family and friends to do the same. The republican party has lost it’s way and are no longer relevant to it’s constituents. Just what kind of game are they playing here? When we have more than two million families out of work, without any benefits, struggling from day to day to keep a roof over their children’s heads, and food on the table, they’re playing party politics? These senators are heartless, soulless, bureaucrats, who do not care about you and me, but ONLY themselves and their party. We need to make a huge change in the next elections, and make sure that the republicans are never in charge again to do this sort of thing to helpless people

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