Former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani announced today he is backing Congressman Michael Grimm, adding a bold-faced name to Mr. Grimm’s growing roster of endorsements.
The fellow Republican said on the The Geraldo Rivera Show on WABC radio that he would vote for Mr. Grimm and hopes the Staten Island lawmaker, who is facing a 20-count federal indictment, is innocent.
“I would vote for Michael. I believe in Michael. I believe and I hope he is innocent but, you know, courts decide that,” Mr. Giuliani said. “He is presumed innocent. And I have worked with Michael and I know what a good Congressman he is.”
Mr. Grimm has the support of the Staten Island Republican Party and most of the Republican elected officials in the borough, including the district’s old congressman and power broker, Guy Molinari. Democratic elected officials and many labor unions are backing his rival, Domenic Recchia Jr., and Staten Island Borough President James Oddo notably dislikes Mr. Grimm.
But Mr. Giuliani’s support may matter in the race. Mr. Giuliani was popular in the district, which also includes southern Brooklyn, when he was mayor. Joseph Lhota, his deputy mayor, ran for mayor last year and won the borough while being crushed elsewhere.
Most observers expect the race to be very close. Mr. Recchia, a former Brooklyn councilman, has out-raised Mr. Grimm, but a series of gaffes and Mr. Recchia’s Brooklyn residence–still somewhat of a taboo in the Staten Island-based district–may help Mr. Grimm squeak by. The election is this Tuesday.
Mr. Grimm said Staten Island was “never forgotten” when Mr. Giuliani was mayor.
“When Rudy was Mayor, Staten Island was never forgotten. He closed our dump, he cleaned up the City, and he brought us through the horror of 9/11,” Mr. Grimm stated. “So it’s an honor to have the continued support of a true leader that I and so many of my constituents respect and admire.”