Bay Ridge’s congressional primary • Brooklyn Paper

Bay Ridge’s congressional primary

Mike McMahon, seen here campaigning in Brooklyn on Sunday, won big.
The Brooklyn Paper / Tom Callan

Mike McMahon, 74 percent
Steve Harrison, 26 percent

13th Congressional District, Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights and Bensonhurst

Though he came as close as anyone ever did to beating Rep. Vito Fossella (R–Bay Ridge), lawyer Harrison was throttled by McMahon, a well-liked councilman from Staten Island’s North Shore.

“I am humbled by the trust and faith that the voters of Staten Island and Brooklyn have placed in me, and promise to bring the fight all the way to Washington for the change they deserve,” said McMahon, who addressed his supporters at the Stars and Stripes Democratic Club on 15th Avenue in Bensonhurst.

Harrison spent the early part of the campaign as Fossella’s lone rival, as he was in 2006. But when Fossella was arrested for drunk driving in May — and then admitted that he sired a lovechild with a woman not his wife — more Democrats expressed interest in the race.

McMahon, who has a proven record of raising money and leadership in the Council, was quickly backed by the party leadership, tossing Harrison under the proverbial bus. He was also backed by many editorial boards, including that of the New York Times, the Staten Island Advance and The Brooklyn Paper.

Unlike two years ago, the national Democratic leaders in Washington have pledged money and support to McMahon, making him the clear favorite to beat GOP nominee Robert Straniere and put the city’s lone Republican congressional seat back into the Democratic column.

“The difference came down to money and star power,” said Harrison, who did not even carry the Brooklyn portion of the district, early returns showed. “We knew it would be tough, we knew it would be uphill. I got creamed in Staten Island.”

But in the end, Harrison did endorse McMahon as “the best candidate against the Republicans,” though is “not a shoo-in.”

He also added that he was “hurt by the outcome,” but added, “I’m not going away.”

Harrison spoke from the front stoop of his home on 79th Street in Bay Ridge, where his family and two dozen supporters gathered to watch the results.

Steve Harrison lost.
The Brooklyn Paper / Michael Lipkin

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