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Sparks Fly at Donovan/Grimm Debate; SI Congressional Race Heats Up



Things are getting personal between incumbent Rep. Dan Donovan and former Congressman Michael Grimm.

The sparks flew and insults were hurled Monday night in Staten Island at a GOP Congressional debate. No insult or line of attack seemed too low or out of bounds for the candidates to use against each other. While the two men support Donald Trump and tried making that fact abundantly clear in last night’s debate, each person needs to show why he is better fit to represent Staten Island and a tiny piece of Brooklyn. Attacking each other seems to be the way these two candidates want to distinguish themselves from each other.

The candidates could get nasty with their insults and tone at times, and they constantly interrupted each other. Some of the accusations were downright inflammatory. Grimm accused Donovan of offering to help him get a presidential pardon for his tax evasion conviction that led him to resign his seat that was then taken by Donovan, which Donovan denies. Grimm accused Donovan of lying about this denial.

Donovan brought up Grimm’s 2014 conviction frequently, saying that the former congressman betrayed the trust of the constituents who voted him to office. He charged that Grimm’s “whole campaign has been based on lies about my record and about his.”

“I’ll let everybody else decide Dan, you look like a fool right now,” Grimm said.

Grimm argued that having a Republican president wasn’t enough for his former constituents. “After this election, they’re going to have the right congressman,” Grimm said.

Donovan stressed the ways he worked with Trump and how they continue striving to reach the same goals. He highlighted the tweet endorsement the president gave the congressman over his opponent.

The New York Post best captured the type of exchanges the two had all night.

“‘He needs a federal pension, he needs a federal job for one more year,’ Donovan charged on WABC radio. ‘Someone who didn’t pay his federal taxes now wants a federal job from us on taxpayer money.’ Grimm retorted, claiming it was Donovan who was seeking another two years in Congress for his pension. ‘I never said that,’ Donovan shot back. ‘That is untrue.’ ‘Stop predicting my future,’ he added, as the two talked over each other. Grimm pounced: ‘I’ve already predicted your future, in fact, I’m going to define it when you get beat.’”

The two will face off in another debate this Thursday, and the primary election is on June 26. Grimm leads Donovan by 10 points.

By: Seamus McNally

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