Thursday, May 29, 2008

Yet Another Republican Won't Run for Fossella's Seat

The Republicans are having a heck of a time finding a candidate to run in New York's 13th CD, the one district within New York City previously considered to be solidly Republican.

from the
New York Times Blog

State Senator Andrew J. Lanza said today that he will not run for the Congressional seat now held by Representative Vito J. Fossella, a Republican who represents Staten Island and parts of Brooklyn.

The decision by Mr. Lanza, a Republican, is a blow to the leadership of his party in Staten Island, who had looked at him as their best hope in retaining the seat. The seat has been held by Republicans for 28 years and party officials are meeting tonight to determine who they will endorse.

Mr. Lanza said that he was concerned that being in Congress would offer too little time to be with his wife and three young children.

“At the end of the day, the overriding concern was my family,” Mr. Lanza said in an interview this afternoon. “My kids are in their formative years and I’ve talked to people in congress. And it’s clear that it would require that I would not be there during those formative years. I didn’t want to look back 10 years from now and count the hundreds of things I wouldn’t be there for with my kids when they need me the most.”

Mr. Fossella announced last week that he would not seek a sixth full term in November. He was arrested on May 1 on charges of driving while intoxicated and admitted soon after that he had fathered a daughter, who is now 3, out of wedlock.

With Mr. Lanza’s decision, the Republicans officials have no one to run from what they consider to be their A-list of party elected officials. In the days after Mr. Fossella’s arrest, City Councilman James S. Oddo, the Republican leader, said he would not run for Congress, but instead for Staten Island borough president next year.

Last week, Daniel M. Donovan Jr., the Staten Island district attorney, said he would not run, although he had been considered the Republican’s best hope. Later in the week, Stephen J. Fiala, the county clerk and commissioner for jurors for Staten Island and a former city councilman, also said he would not run.

For the last week, the speculation has centered on Mr. Lanza. But the senator has been under intense pressure from Republican leaders to remain in his current position in Albany. Had he run for Congress, Mr. Lanza would have been forced give up his State Senate seat at a time when the Democrats need to capture just two seats to take control of that chamber for the first time in 40 years.

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