By Michael Tobman
In the Republican and Conservative congressional primaries between Congressman Daniel Donovan and former Congressman Michael Grimm, New York Jewish Life enthusiastically endorses Mr. Donovan for reelection. Registered Republicans and Conservatives in the 11th district – all of Staten Island and parts of southern Brooklyn – have an easy choice that, as usually happens in campaigns, has been made to seem more complicated than it really is. Dan Donovan is a distinguished Representative, and accomplished former District Attorney, while Michael Grimm is a felon who resigned from office when he pleaded guilty to federal tax fraud.
The contrast favoring Mr. Donovan couldn’t be clearer. Mr. Grimm’s candidacy is preposterous, but he has benefited from a political and media environment that tolerates tawdry as normal. Michael Grimm has positioned himself as protest figure, a vehicle through which voters can express their ongoing anger towards the mainstream establishment, but he’s peddling a fraudulent story that really has nothing to do with the constituents of the 11th district and everything to do with his deeply flawed ego.
Against the backdrop of the circus these primaries have become, it is easy to lose sight of the plain truth that Dan Donovan deserves to be reelected. He is an effective combination of deeply conservative and practically results focused. He represents the specific needs of his district and the broader ideology – popular in the area he represents – that elected President Trump in 2016. And when those responsibilities conflict – local needs vs. a national narrative also popular at home – Congressman Donovan has found ways to be true to both. NYJL may not agree with all of the positions he takes, but it’s plain to see that the incumbent has the temperament and skills to continue to make a positive difference in his district, city, state, and country.
Primary elections are usually low turnout affairs, in which the candidate who yells the loudest can prevail. Michael Grimm is a screamer, while Daniel Donovan has a more reserved demeanor. Republicans and Conservatives in New York’s diverse 11th congressional district should see the quiet competence and passion Dan Donovan has always brought to his public service as a positive, and vote on June 26th to return him to the November ballot as their candidate.