The Staten Island Democratic Party will nominate former Congressman Michael McMahon to run for district attorney tonight, the Observer has learned.
“The party intends to nominate Michael McMahon this evening,” Tom Feeney, executive director of the Democratic Committee of Richmond County, told the Observer today.
The Democrats are set to meet tonight for a county convention at the Excelsior Grand in New Dorp, where Mr. McMahon will get the formal nod to fill the vacant DA seat.
Mr. McMahon, who represented the North Shore in the City Council before serving one term in Congress, is a formidable name in Island politics. The news that he will run for the seat comes a day after the Republican’s most high-profile potential candidate, popular State Senator Andrew Lanza, said he would not run, as reported by the Staten Island Advance.
If the two were to go head-to-head in the right-leaning borough, Mr. Lanza would have had the advantage. But with Mr. Lanza out of the race, the GOP is looking to lesser-known candidates—greatly increasing Mr. McMahon’s chance of winning, given his history of holding an Island-wide seat.
The district attorney’s spot is vacant following a somewhat complicated game of musical chairs that began when Mr. McMahon, now a partner at Herrick, Feinstein LLP, lost his congressional seat in 2010 to Michael Grimm.
Mr. Grimm went on to plead guilty to federal tax fraud. Then-District Attorney Daniel Donovan, who was thrust into the national spotlight as the prosecutor in the Eric Garner case, ran for the seat in a special election and won, taking office this month. Now Mr. McMahon will look to replace Mr. Donovan.
Mr. McMahon did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Staten Island lawyer Matthew Smalls has said he intended to run, but has actually dropped out of the race, two Staten Island Democratic sources said today. Mr. Smalls did not immediately respond to a phone call and email seeking comment.
Correction: This story has been updated to note that sources say Mr. Smalls is no longer running.