Congressman Vito Fossella’s recent arrest for driving drunk has Democrats thinking they might get a better chance at taking the only congressional seat in the city held by a Republican. (The district includes Staten Island and part of Brooklyn).
But the better-funded of his prospective Democratic opponents, Councilman Domenic Recchia, isn’t (so far) using it against him.
“This has nothing to do [with the campaign],” he said about Fossella’s arrest. “My focus is on getting out my message and what I already have done.”
When I asked, in the same brief phone interview today, if he’s altered his campaign strategy, Recchia didn’t stray. “I’m communicating the same way: going door-to-door, shaking hands, going to coffee klatches.“
And, he added, “going to the [Staten Island] ferry.”
One of the best things Fossella has going for him right now is that he lives on Staten Island, as do about two-thirds of voters in the district. The Democrats, Recchia and attorney Steve Harrison, live in the Brooklyn portion.
Recchia is prepared, at least, to talk about that. He says that as chair of the City Council Committee on Cultural Affairs he’s brought millions of dollars to Staten Island. And, he adds, “My mother lives on Staten island. My three sisters live on Staten Island. I have ties to Staten Island and, really, a lot of people from Brooklyn move to Staten Island. So I don’t think it’s an issue at all.”