Congressional candidate Michael Grimm confirmed, this weekend, he will petition to secure the Conservative Party line in the race to unseat U.S. Rep. Dan Donovan of New York’s 11th congressional district which encompasses Staten Island and parts of Southern Brooklyn.
Last week residents in the district received a robocall from New York State Conservative Chairman Mike Long asking voters to support Rep. Dan Donovan in the upcoming primary against Republican contender Michael Grimm.
The recorded message explicitly asked voters to make sure Donovan’s name is on the top of the petition they sign, suggesting his opponent is looking to snatch the Conservative Party line with the last minute opportunity to ballot petition.
Doing so would automatically place an opponent, namely Grimm, on the Conservative Party line during the general election.
While the Conservative Party boss did not reference any opposing candidate during the 46-second sound bite, Grimm made clear he intends on securing the Conservative line.
“If we had any faith that Desperate Dan would do the right thing once he loses the Republican primary we wouldn’t have to run a Conservative OTB, but after the way he has been blatantly lying about his “accomplishments” and having the most anti-Trump record of any New York House Republican, he can’t be trusted,” said Grimm.
“Unlike my opponent, Conservative voters know left from right, and I have full faith in the choice they’ll make on June 26,” added Grimm.
Brooklyn’s Conservative Party endorsed Donovan early into his re-election campaign. However, sources and recent Facebook posts suggest the Staten Island Conservative faction does not share the sentiments of their Brooklyn counterparts.
The angst between Donovan and Staten Island’s Conservative Party reaches as far back as 2007. Donovan, then Staten Island’s district attorney, recused himself from a case involving the grandson of James Molinaro — a Staten Island Conservative Party influencer and then borough president. When Molinaro’s grandson was sentenced to five years for attempting to break an order of protection, Molinaro lashed out at Donovan claiming his grandson received unfair treatment.
The Conservative Party divide, set to play an important part in the upcoming congressional race, could potentially split the Republican vote and cause the seat to turn Democratic. But the impending disruption to the only Republican congressional seat in New York City has not slowed the candidate’s attacks against one another.
“The men and women of the Conservative Party endorsed Dan Donovan as their choice in this election,” said Donovan spokesperson Jessica Proud. “Michael Grimm was one of the most liberal Republicans in Congress, giving Obama a blank check for his unconstitutional amnesty, while voting against increased border security and for Obamacare and Planned Parenthood.”
Donovan and Grimm will face off in a primary on June 26. The winner, or perhaps both candidates on separate Party lines, will meet a Democratic candidate during the general election Nov. 6.