No S.I. Rerun

Democrats have struggled, and so far failed, to recruit an elected official to run against Staten Island Congressman Vito Fossella, and on Thursday his spirited, underfunded challenger from 2004, Frank Barbaro, plans to announce…something…at the Staten Island Ferry Terminal.

This created a round of buzz that Barbaro, a retired judge, is planning to run again, but reached today he denied it.

“I’m not running,” he said. “I’m sure they’ll find a very strong candidate and they’ll win.”

Barbaro wouldn’t talk about the Thursday event, but others on Staten Island say he plans to lay out “progressive principles” for whichever candidate the party settles on. But none of the stronger possible candidates seems particularly eager to take up the challenge, for all the national trends that might favor a Democrat.