Recchia seeks Fossella’s seat, but he’d have to move to get it

Councilman Domenic Recchia, who once talked about running for borough president, will instead go after five-term Rep. Vito Fossella (R–Bay Ridge).

The Sheepshead Bay Democrat hasn’t made a formal announcement, but didn’t waste any time coming up with his campaign theme: linking Fossella to deeply unpopular President Bush and his ongoing troubles in Iraq.

“The Republicans gave us this war in Iraq and this is not what New Yorkers deserve,” Recchia told The Brooklyn Paper this week. “The Bush-Fossella team got us into this war and we need to get us out.”

Fossella’s team didn’t waste any time in focusing on Recchia’s Achilles heel: the fact that he lives far outside the boundaries of the 13th Congressional district, which contains all of Staten Island and a small piece of Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights. He does not have to live in the district to run — but does if he wins.

“It’s mind-boggling why Recchia wants to represent our community when he chooses to live in another congressional district,” said Fossella political director Georgea Kay. “Think about the absurdity — Recchia doesn’t think we’re good enough to be his neighbor, but he thinks he deserves to be our representative in Congress.”

Kay was just warming up.

“Recchia’s going to have a tough time convincing Bay Ridge and Bensonhurst residents to support a liberal, tax-raiser who lives outside our district,” added Kay.

Recchia declined to respond to Kay’s charges. But he did say that he would file papers establishing a congressional committee early next month.

Before he can take on Fossella, Recchia will first have to dispense with Democrat Steve Harrison, who ran well against Fossella in 2006, getting 43 percent of the vote, despite spending just $109,000 to Fossella’s $1.3 million.

Recchia said he would not experience Harrison’s fundraising woes.

“My track record speaks for itself,” boasted the Councilman. “I know Steve and he did a great job last time, but I will go out and raise the money.”

For his part, Harrison believes this election will be tilted by Staten Island, which is home to the bulk of the two-borough district.

“No other candidate has the name recognition that I do, especially in Staten Island,” said Harrison. “I also learned a lot from the last election and am confident that this time around I will be in a better position to win.”