Picking Candidates in Fossella-Land

Here’s something to keep in mind as the fate of Vito Fossella unfolds:

If Fossella steps down before June July 1–and signals about whether he will or not have been mixed–there would a special election, and the candidates will more or less be chosen by the Staten Island County Leaders from both parties, even though the district includes both Staten Island and parts of Brooklyn.

The county leaders’ choices will be decisive, since it’s a weighted vote and Staten Islanders make up about two-thirds of the district as a whole.

"So if the [Democratic] County Leader [in Staten Island] wants one candidate," political consultant Jerry Skurnik told me. "and [Brooklyn Democratic leader] Vito Lopez wants someone else, [Staten Island County Leader John] Gulino can pick who he wants.”

“Theoretically, it can be the county leaders themselves," Skurnik added.