Staten Island Republicans Try to Hang on to Congressional Seat

One of the most closely watched races locally is in Staten Island, where Republican Bob Straniere is trying to defend Vito Fossella's seat for the GOP.

But polls suggest Councilman Mike McMahon is poised to win and that would make the city's entire congressional delegation Democratic.

Straniere, a former Assemblyman, spoke about the race for Staten Island on WNYC's The Brian Lehrer Show. He says it's important that doesn't happen, especially if Barack Obama becomes president.

STRANIERE: There has to be at least one Congressional person from this city, who's willing to stand up and challenge a president Obama on ideas that will be bad for New York, bad for the people of this district. Indeed, bad for America.

REPORTER: But Councilman McMahon says voters would look primarily at the records of the candidates.

MCMAHON: I was the author and the prime sponsor of the solid waste management plan bill. The person who saved recycling, expanded it for the city of New York to include electronics waste recycling.

REPORTER: Both candidates have said transportation is the biggest issue in their district.