Voter Guide: New York's 13th Congressional District Race

Michael McMahon (D) vs. Michael Grimm (R)

The race to represent New York's 13th Congressional District in Staten Island is a contest between incumbent Democratic Representative Michael McMahon, the first Democrat elected to this swing district in 28 years, and Tea Party-backed Michael Grimm, a former undercover FBI agent.

Michael McMahon (D)

WNYC Coverage of Michael McMahon:

Contest for Congress: In Staten Island, GOP Seek to Reclaim Seat It Held for 28 Years (October 4, 2010)

Leonard Lopate: The Big Picture: New York (September 14, 2010)

Local Congressman Slams Health-Care Law (April 1, 2010)

McMahon Ready for Capitol Hill (December 9, 2008)

Fast Facts:

  • Hometown: Staten Island, NY
  • Graduated with a BA from New York University and received a law degree from the New York Law School
  • Incumbent who is defending his seat for the first time; elected in November 2008 to a seat held by Republicans for almost 30 years
  • Represented the 49th District on the New York City Council from 2002 to 2008
  • After graduating from college, worked for Democratic State Assembly members Eric Vitaliano and Elizabeth Connelly
  • Former staff member of City Councilman Jerome X. O'Donovan, whom he succeeded in the Council
  • Endorsed by former President Bill Clinton
  • Member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the Committee on Foreign Affairs


  • Opposed President Obama's health care legislation
  • Secured millions in infrastructure projects in Staten Island in his first term
  • Voted against tax breaks for companies that received TARP funds
  • Strongly opposes privatizing Social Security
  • Member of the New Democratic Coalition, a group that touts itself as moderate and "pro-growth"
  • His description of his positions: "My political philosophy is that of a kid who grew up in a working-class family and there isn't a traditional label to describe it."

Other Links

Michael McMahon's Campaign Site

Defying Political Labels, Staten Island's New Congressman Is Seen as Pragmatist (New York Times, November 16, 2008)

Michael Grimm (R)

WNYC Coverage of Michael Grimm:

Contest for Congress: In Staten Island, GOP Seek to Reclaim Seat It Held for 28 Years (October 4, 2010)

The Brian Lehrer Show: Primary Season: New York's 13th District (August 16, 2010)

Fast Facts:

  • Hometown: Heartland Village, Staten Island, NY
  • Graduated from the Federal Police Officer Training Program, receiving both the Academic and the Physical Fitness awards for his class
  • Received BBA in Accounting with a concentration in Finance from Bernard M. Baruch College; received his law degree and graduated Magna Cum Laude from New York Law School
  • Served in the Persian Gulf War as a U.S. Marine and was a U. S. Marshal
  • Former member of the FBI's Financial Fraud Squad, where he became an undercover agent in Wall Street Operation Wooden Nickel, one of the most successful white collar investigations in the history of the FBI
  • Founded a small health food restaurant in Manhattan after leaving the FBI
  • Currently a principal in a bio-fuel company in Austin, TX
  • Endorsed by Rudy Giuliani, Senator John McCain, and Sarah Palin, as well as other Tea Party groups


  • Wants to extend the Bush tax cuts
  • Pledges to cut government spending and limit government regulation
  • Opposes cap-and-trade energy legislation
  • Wants to eliminate earmarks
  • Supports off-shore oil drilling
  • Opposes President Obama's health care legislation

Other Links

Michael Grimm's Campaign Site

Republican Michael Grimm's running for House seat, but Staten Island's GOP isn't supporting him (New York Daily News, September 26, 2010)

Results Are Mixed for Tea Party in New York (New York Times, September 15, 2010)


Related Races in New York

Governor: Andrew Cuomo vs. Carl Paladino

Attorney General: Eric Schneiderman vs. Dan Donovan

Congressional District 1: Tim Bishop vs. Randy Altschuler

Congressional District 19: John Hall vs. Nan Hayworth