Domenic Recchia wasn’t exactly furious after the Staten Island Republican Party accused him of pandering to the Brooklyn housing project vote.
Mr. Recchia, a Democrat running to unseat Republican Congressman Michael Grimm, said today he would not build any low-income housing in the right-leaning borough after an official in the Staten Island GOP said he would.
“Listen, we’re not building no low-income housing. I am gonna represent all the people in this district. I’m gonna represent everyone from the south shore to the north shore of Staten Island and to all of Brooklyn,” Mr. Recchia told the Observer. “The congressman has to represent everyone and that’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to be a congressman for all the people.”
A top official in the Staten Island GOP blasted out a fund-raising email last week that accused Mr. Recchia, a former Brooklyn councilman, of counting on minority-heavy votes in Brooklyn “housing projects” to win in the fall. He also said Mr. Recchia would bring low-income housing to the borough, a sore spot for conservatives in the Staten Island-based district.
Mr. Recchia’s reaction to the email was in marked contrast to Democratic leaders in Staten Island and Brooklyn, who said the fund-raising pitch reeked of “bigotry” and “fear-mongering.” Mr. Recchia’s promise may also bump up against reality: Mayor Bill de Blasio, hostile to the Republican incumbent, has vowed to build 200,000 units of affordable housing, targeting all five boroughs for development.
The mayor has all but endorsed Mr. Recchia. His top ally and a fellow booster of affordable housing, Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, headlined a fund-raiser for Mr. Recchia several months ago.