Micheal McMahon, the Staten Island Democrat seeking a second term in New York's 13th Congressional district, which also includes parts of Southwest Brooklyn, locked in two big newspaper shout-outs this week. The New York Times and The Staten Island Advance both threw their weight behind McMahon.
In a Tuesday editorial, The New York Times mentioned the race, saying McMahon has a strong competitor in Republican Michael Grimm, but that McMahon, despite voting against health care reform, was the man for the job.
"We regret Mr. McMahon's vote against health care reform, although it was in step with his conservative district. He deserves a lot of credit for championing better mental health care for veterans and more transit funds. In New York's 13th Congressional District, we support Representative Michael McMahon, Democrat."
On Wednesday, a day after the Staten Island Advance co-sponsored a debate between the two candidates, the newspaper announced its support for the incumbent, who in 2008 became the first Democrat elected to represent the district in more than two decades. The editorial addressed the heavy rhetoric and anger that's been in the race spotlight:
To hear some people around here talk, the fate of the republic hinges on the outcome of the election for the seat in the 13th Congressional District. Of course, all over the country, similarly outlandish claims are being made about congressional races by rabid partisans on both sides.
But the editorial goes on to say that the race in District 13 is less extreme than it seems.
Ordinary Americans, of course, don't hold to that sinister view of larger forces at work. They evaluate the candidates on what these individuals bring to the campaign, what they value and what they can do for constituents.That's how we prefer to see the race between incumbent Democrat Rep. Michael McMahon and Republican challenger Michael Grimm.
The piece highlights the Congressman's accomplishments, such as securing millions in stimulus funds for local infrastructure projects, and praises him for his "independent" voice in Washington.
Forget the hyperactive rhetoric about good and evil vying for control of Congress and the country. The roll-up-his-sleeves Mr. McMahon is his own man and this borough's best representative in Congress.
Michael Grimm represents a solid return to the district's roots. A decorated Marine who served in the first Gulf War, Grimm subsequently joined the FBI -- where his undercover work helped bust Gambino crime family operatives, several New Jersey pols and, in 2003, 50-some Wall Street crooks in Operation Wooden Nickel. Grimm cites his post-FBI career as a restaurant owner and small businessman to push fiscal sanity in Washington -- and tax relief for all Americans.