One of the big surprises last night was Michael Grimm’s victory over Mike McMahon in NY-13, a district that covers Staten Island and parts of Brooklyn.
NY-13 voted for John McCain, the only urban district in the country to have done so, but McMahon was considered a fairly safe bet. He spent 6 years in the City Council, voted against health care reform, and was generally seen as a moderate. Grimm, meanwhile, was a Tea Party candidate backed by Sarah Palin who faced questions about his time spent in the military and about his business background.
Grimm’s campaign had always painted their race as a bellweather–as goes McMahon, so goes the nation, and today they are out with a statement that reiterates that point and that fails to mention their opponent.
“My heartfelt thanks go out to the voters who made it clear that we need a change in Washington,” said Michael Grimm, a Marine Combat Veteran, a former FBI Special Agent and a small businessman. “Both locally-and nationally-the taxpayers determined that they cannot afford two more years of the Obama-Pelosi Liberal Agenda.”
Grimm said world events contributed to the Republican landslide including, the bombs shipped to the United State in cargo planes and the weakness demonstrated by the President internationally which has energized terrorists.
“We need to put our economic house in order and send a crystal clear message that the war on terror is not a distraction,” Grimm said. “I made a promise to the voters that peace and prosperity begins at home and positive changes will begin immediately with the new Republican Congress.”
As Maggie notes, McMahon made some odd tactical choices in this race, including giving The Politicker a list of Jewish donors to the Grimm campaign in an effort to show that he lacks district support and seating Grimm’s ex-wife and her parents in the front row at a recent debate in an effort to rattle their opponent.
But it is worth noting as well that this is a seat that, while covering Staten Island and parts of Brooklyn, also seems to represent Bizzaro-land. Two years ago McMahon won after Vito Fossella was discovered to have a second family and his GOP opponent died in the middle of the campaign.