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Sandro Rosell
FC Barcelona President
Saturday, October 21, 2017

On Sunday, October 1, the former FBI agent, former Representative and admitted tax evading ex-con Michael Grimm announced that he will be running for his former position. 

To an audience of approximately 100 supporters, Grimm said, “Together we’ll go to Washington and have our president’s back.” 

In his speech, Grimm criticized former prosecutor Dan Donovan, who in 2015 after Grimm’s resignation won the Staten Island-based district. Now Grimm is trying to replace Donovan as the Republican nomination. He said, “The swamp still needs to be drained. Let’s start right here with my opponent.”

Grimm is taking an aggressive approach to his political comeback. Rather than asking for a second chance, he is going full force daring anyone to get in his way. 

Recently, the 47-year-old Grimm told Fox News, “I’m gonna win. When I go out and I shake these hands, and people hug me, and they tell me in my ear, ‘You have no idea how many people are behind you,’ I just know it.”

AP News reports, “A Marine and Gulf War veteran, Grimm has long styled himself as a scrappy fighter for New York City’s ‘forgotten borough.’ The thrice-elected congressman says his prosecution and eight-month prison term were politically driven and unfair. He casts himself as a political warrior ready to defend President Donald Trump’s agenda against congressional Republicans with a “weak spine.” And he counts the support of Staten Island political patriarch Guy Molinari, a Republican former congressman and borough president. But Grimm would face an incumbent with a long history in Staten Island politics, including 12 years as district attorney (his office didn’t prosecute Grimm). Donovan has the backing of the local and state Republican parties and a $300,000 campaign war chest; Grimm’s old campaign coffer has $52,000 but bears $420,000 in legal debt, according to the latest filings in July. Both camps claim the other candidate is too liberal.

Donovan campaign spokeswoman Jessica Proud said, “We’re not really worried about a challenge from a felon. The voters won’t be duped by him again.”

In this swing district, which includes part of Brooklyn and all of Staten Island, six Democrats have shown interest in running for a seat. 

Evan Lukaske the spokesman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee said that Grimm’s candidacy “demonstrates the serious harm that this do-nothing Congress is inflicting on vulnerable Republican incumbents. Ultimately, our Democratic candidate will face either a convicted felon or an ineffective and weak establishment politician entangled in an embezzlement scandal — a clear choice for voters on Staten Island and in Brooklyn.”

Although no charges related to campaign offenses were ever brought against Grimm, the investigation exposed that before taking office, while running a Manhattan health food restaurant, Grimm hid over $1 million in sales and wages. In 2014, he declared the case “a political witch hunt,” then within two months pled guilty, eventually being sentenced to eight months in prison in 2015.

By Rachel Shapiro