Here, in the video below, is departing Republican Representative Vito Fossella chatting with reporters after his big thank-you breakfast on Staten Island yesterday.
The event generated speculation that Fossella may seek to run for office again in the future, and demonstrated that yes, he’s still popular with in his district. Local elected officials who spoke–City Council members Jimmy Oddo and Vinny Ignizio, plus State Senator Andrew Lanza–all said they’d like to see Fossella in public service.
The mayor didn’t go that far in his remarks, but Bloomberg was one of the only elected officials from outside Staten Island to attend the event. (Another was Representative Peter King from Long Island, one of the last remaining Republicans in the New York congressional delegation; and John Catsimatidis, a long-shot Republican mayoral candidate.)
It's notable that Bloomberg, who's running for re-election next year, showed up at the event. Fossella was arrested for drunk driving this year, admitted later to fathering a child with the woman who bailed him out of jail, was recently sentenced to serve five days in a Virginia prison, and for that matter, never fully recovered from earlier allegations that he misused campaign funds for a Colorado ski trip.
But Bloomberg isn’t just running next year–he’s running for re-election next year, Lindsay-esque, without belonging to a major party, and it's likely that he's looking to secure a ballot line. As evidenced by the turnout yesterday, Fossella still holds a great deal of clout with city Republicans (the remaining few, anyway).
When I asked Fossella if he’d like to see Bloomberg as the Republican candidate in next year’s mayor’s race, he said, “I will support the mayor 100 percent in whatever he runs for.”