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Staten Island GOP to Grimm: Don't Come Back

By Nicholas Rizzi | August 8, 2017 1:34pm
 The state, Staten Island and Brooklyn Republican party said they were
The state, Staten Island and Brooklyn Republican party said they were "extremely disappointed" Michael Grimm was considering a primary challenge against Rep. Dan Donovan for his old seat.
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DNAinfo/Nicholas Rizzi

STATEN ISLAND — Michael Grimm might be trying to get his old job back after his jail term but there's one key group that doesn't want him to try: New York's entire Republican party.

The heads of the state, Staten Island and Brooklyn GOP, along with every Republican elected official in the borough, came out in support of Rep. Dan Donovan in a joint release Monday.

The release said officials were "extremely disappointed" Grimm was even considering a primary challenge against Donovan.

"Staten Islanders are lucky to have a principled and effective leader like Dan Donovan representing them in Washington," New York State GOP Chairman Ed Cox said in a statement.

"He is an important member of the New York congressional delegation who is critical to helping enact the president’s change agenda. We are behind him 100 percent."

The release also said that Grimm won't enjoy "the winning infrastructure" that comes with support from the local Republican parties.

Last week, the New York Daily News reported that Grimm — who spent nearly seven months in prison for tax fraud — started making calls through local Republican powerbroker Guy Molinari to round up support for a run in 2018 against Donovan.

Grimm has also previously floated the idea of running for Borough President against James Oddo in a primary.

Aside from Grimm, Donovan also faces challenges on the Democratic side with five candidates vying for the chance to run against him.

Grimm was first elected to Congress in 2010 and had numerous scandals during his tenure, including threatening, on camera, to throw a NY1 reporter off a balcony after he asked a question about probes into his fundraising in 2014.

Grimm was later indicted on tax fraud charges after he underreported more than $1 million in profits from an Upper East Side eatery he co-owned before he took office.

Despite the scandals, he remained popular in his district thanks to the help he gave residents after Hurricane Sandy and won re-election while under indictment in 2014 against a better funded Democratic candidate.

Shortly after the win, he pleaded guilty to tax fraud and resigned from his seat. Donovan won it in a May 2015 special election to replace Grimm.

Grimm was sentenced to eight months behind bars — but only served seven — and was order to pay back nearly $150,000 in restitution.

Since his release from prison, Grimm penned op-eds claiming he was "demonized by the media," urged Trump to "fight fire with fire" against them, and complained about reporters not reaching out to him for stories.

For the past three months, Grimm has not responded to multiple phone messages left by DNAinfo seeking comments on several stories. But on Tuesday, he answered our call.

"I'm not giving any comments," Grimm said.