STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — The 11th Congressional District is the last Republican-held federal elected office in the five boroughs. The congressman staved off a tough primary challenge and now is facing an Afghanistan war veteran—with both men sparring over who is really paying for this campaign.
While greeting business owners in Staten Island, Congressman does not shy away from talking about where he agrees and disagrees with President Donald Trump, which includes two big votes against the failed Republican health-care bill, and the successful tax bill.
Even still, the two-term congressman was helped by the president’s endorsement during his primary win against former congressman, turned convicted tax cheat, turned candidate Michael Grimm.
“People here know I stand with the president when things he’s pushing forward are helpful to our community, but they also know I’ll stand up for them when it’s harmful to my district,” Donovan said. “Both health-care replacement, and the tax reform were harmful to my people.”
New York’s 11th District includes all of Staten Island and part of Brooklyn from Gravesend to Bay Ridge, which is where PIX11 News caught up with Democrat Max Rose. Rose was greeting commuters in the district bright and early in the morning.
The Afghanistan war veteran is trying to unseat Donovan by stealing plays from both the anti-establishment Trump playbook and the anti-corporate money Bernie Sanders approach.
“We are trying to be fair and truthful, because the people in this district have been failed by generation of politicians both sides of the aisle,” Rose said.
Rose has been especially critical of Donovan’s campaign-finance records — specifically money he’s taken from pharmaceutical, oil and telecom companies.
“I raised far more than he did last quarter in district,” Rose boasted. “We are not taking a cent from corporate PACs, not a cent from corporate lobbyists.”
Donovan has fired back—trying to paint Rose as an outsider.
“If you look at who supporting me it’s local community and local businesses who have a vested interest in our community, people who employ people,” he said. “If you look in my opponent only four percent of his donors of come from inside the district,”