Republicans Turn to a Once-Shunned Assemblyman for Fossella's Seat

Former Republican Assemblyman Bob Straniere – who was unseated in a primary back in 2004 – tonight was selected to become the Republican’s candidate to run for the congressional seat vacated by Vito Fossella.

The Staten Island Advance has the story.

The party originally backed the candidacy of Frank Powers, a rich Republican who passed away late last month.

Although a number of other Republicans had already declined to run for the seat – including State Senator Andrew Lanza, District Attorney Dan Donovan and City Councilman Jimmy Oddo – the fact that the party is turning to an elected official they shunned a few short years ago shows the shallowness of the Republicans’ political bench.

Straniere was selected by a vote of 4 to 1 of the committee to fill vacancies, which each campaign establishes when they submit petitions just in case their candidate is unable to campaign. The only member of the committee not to support Stranaire was Joseph Borelli, who is the chief of staff to Vinny Ignizio, the current Councilman who, in 2004, challenged and beat Straniere for his Assembly seat.

Since leaving office, Straniere has kept busy, opening up a hot dog stand on Church and Chambers Street (right below the offices of the New York Sun).