Erica Garner, whose father Eric died during a chokehold at the hand of a police officer, is considering a run for the congressional seat occupied by former Staten Island prosecutor Daniel Donovan, reports the New York Post.
Donovan oversaw the jury that failed to convict Officer Daniel Pantaleo in Eric’s death, prompting protests across the country last year. Pantaleo had been trying to arrest Garner, 43, for allegedly selling illegal cigarettes in Staten Island.
Despite facing criticism for keeping the details of the jury’s deliberations sealed, the Republican pol cruised to victory in a special election for the 11th Congressional District — which includes Staten Island and a sliver of Brooklyn — against Brooklyn Councilman Vincent Gentile this year.
The New York Post reports:
Erica Garner criticized Donovan’s political rise.
“He’s been promoted,” she said. “He had a platform off my dad’s dead body to run for Congress, and that’s why he did it. It was a political move.”
The congressional seat had been left vacant by former Congressman Michael Grimm who is currently serving an eight month sentence in a federal prison for tax fraud.
Local political officials are urging Erica to meet with experts to devise a viable political strategy, reports the Post.
“Her first step would really be to meet with leadership and make the case of what does she bring not only to the position but to Staten Island and Brooklyn [voters],” Staten Island Democratic Assemblyman Matthew Titone told the outlet.
Donovan declined to comment on Erica’s run. No other candidates have surfaced so far.