NY-13: GOP Cong. Vito Fossella Arrested
by Jonathan Singer, Thu May 01, 2008 at 12:00:29 PM EDT
From The Washington Post:
Rep. Vito J. Fossella (R-N.Y.) was arrested overnight in Alexandria and charged with driving while intoxicated, court records showed today.
Fossella is scheduled to appear in Alexandria General District Court on May 12 for an advisement hearing, the records said.
No other details were immediately available.
Fossella was elected to Congress in a special election to represent the 13th Congressional District of New York in November 1997, according to a biography on his Web site. The district includes Staten Island and the Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, and the Bensonhurst and Gravesend neighborhoods of Brooklyn.
Being arrested for a DUI isn't necessarily a political death-knell for an incumbent -- but neither is it terribly good news, particularly when that incumbent is potentially vulnerable. Fossella won reelection in 2006 with about 57 percent of the vote, so he isn't necessarily in terrible shape coming into this election cycle. However, New York's 13th congressional district, which he represents, tends to lean about 1 point more Democratic than the nation as a whole in presidential elections, so this year being a presidential election year doesn't augur particularly well for Fossella's hopes. Throw in a DUI and this race may now be on the map.
At this point, there are a couple of Democrats looking at this race: 2006 nominee Steve Harrison and Brooklyn City Commissioner Domenic Recchia. Recchia, in particular, looks like a formidable candidate, having raised more than $350,000 to this point. In fact, Recchia has more in the bank than Fossella as of the last filing period. So definitely chalk this up as one to keep an eye on...