Rep. Dan Donovan (R-NY) easily defeated former Rep. Michael Grimm (R-NY) in the Republican primary in New York’s 11th Congressional District on Tuesday.
The margin of victory in the Republican-friendly Staten Island Congressional District late Tuesday night was 64 percent for Donovan to 36 percent for Grimm with 96 percent of precincts reporting.
Max Rose easily won the Democratic primary with 65 percent of the vote, far ahead of second place finisher Michael DeVito, with 19 percent.
Donovan is favored to win the November general election match up against Rose, but Democrats have targeted the race as one of the seats they want to flip from red to blue.
Grimm rose to notoriety in 2014 when he pleaded guilty to felony tax evasion and resigned from the Congressional seat now held by Donovan. Grimm, a former Marine and former FBI agent, was first elected to represent Staten Island in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2010.
Grimm served seven months in prison, and was released in May 2017.
The race between Donovan and Grimm captured the attention of both the New York City and national media from the moment Grimm announced his candidacy in October 2017.
The battle had several compelling elements: Grimm’s drive for redemption from the voters; the ideological differences between the more establishment-oriented Donovan and the populist, Trump supporting Grimm; and, of course, the fact that Staten Island is across the harbor from Manhattan, where President Trump rose to prominence and financial wealth as a real estate developer.
Grimm’s hopes for electoral redemption were considerably diminished in late May when President Trump endorsed Donovan in the primary, as Breitbart News reported:
Since 2015, Donovan has consistently supported expansive amnesties for illegal aliens. Just last year, Donovan co-sponsored Rep. Carlos Curbelo’s (R-FL) “Recognizing America’s Children Act,” which would have granted amnesty to the majority of the 12 to 30 million illegal aliens living throughout the U.S.
That same year, Donovan co-sponsored the “BRIDGE Act,” which would have given amnesty to all illegal aliens who are eligible and enrolled in the President Obama-created Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
Despite this record, Trump called Donovan “strong on borders & crime.”
Trump added emphasis to his endorsement of Donovan with these tweets:
There is no one better to represent the people of N.Y. and Staten Island (a place I know very well) than @RepDanDonovan, who is strong on Borders & Crime, loves our Military & our Vets, voted for Tax Cuts and is helping me to Make America Great Again. Dan has my full endorsement!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 30, 2018
Very importantly, @RepDanDonovan will win for the Republicans in November…and his opponent will not. Remember Alabama. We can’t take any chances on losing to a Nancy Pelosi controlled Democrat!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 31, 2018
“Grimm conceded at 9:32 p.m., just about a half hour after the polls closed,” the Daily News reported Tuesday night:
“When one door closes, another one opens,” he said, promising it was not the last the crowd had seen of him.
He congratulated Donovan — to boos and shouted profanity from the crowd — insisting Donovan was never really his enemy.
“It is extremely important that we keep this seat in Republican hands,” he said.
The Cook Political Report currently rates the race in the fall as “Lean Republican.”