The New York Times endorsement of Michael McMahon:
For Congress in New York’s 13th
Published: August 18, 2008
When New York voters go to the polls on primary day, Sept. 9, one of the most compelling races will be a hard-fought Democratic Congressional contest in Staten Island and part of Brooklyn.
The 13th Congressional District is currently represented by Vito Fossella, the only Republican in the New York City delegation. Mr. Fossella announced his retirement earlier this year after being caught up in a scandal, leaving a wide-open race for his seat.
On the Democratic side, two appealing candidates are facing off. Stephen Harrison, a lawyer who ran a spirited campaign against Mr. Fossella two years ago, has strong community ties in the Brooklyn part of the district and has demonstrated an admirable passion for public service.
He does not, however, have the record of accomplishment of his opponent, Michael McMahon. Mr. McMahon has done an impressive job representing Staten Island in the City Council since 2001, showing leadership on some of the city’s thorniest issues. As chairman of the sanitation committee he was instrumental in overhauling the waste management plan to make it fairer and more environmentally sound, and he has been a steadfast champion of recycling, ushering through pioneering legislation on electronic waste.
Mr. McMahon also has a deep understanding of transportation and infrastructure issues, including a strong commitment to mass transportation. He would be a valuable advocate on these fronts in Washington.
As the only Democrat in the Council from Staten Island, Mr. McMahon has proved adept at reaching out to moderates and conservatives. That broad appeal would be an advantage in representing this conservative- leaning district, which gave 55 percent of its votes to President Bush in 2004. Mr. McMahon wins our endorsement in the Democratic primary.
Some of you have been asking for some background profiles of candidates for the 13th Congressional District. I figured that this New York Times’ editorial was good to give you some background on Mike McMahon.