With two strong candidates to choose from on Primary Day, September 9th, Democrats in the 13th Congressional District are fortunate.
Both City Councilmember Michael McMahon, who has represented Staten Island for the past seven years, and Brooklyn attorney Stephen Harrison – a Bay Ridge activist with a long history of community involvement — are worthy standard-bearers.
The decision by scandal-ridden Representative Vito Fossella not to seek reelection has opened the door wide for a reform-minded candidate to win the seat.
On the issues facing the district and the country, both McMahon and Harrison offer credible positions – favoring withdrawal from the misbegotten war in Iraq, a new commitment to renewable and sustainable energy sources, a focus on reshaping mass transit and transportation infrastructure to ease residents’ commuting woes, and increasing access to health care.
All that being said, this paper favors McMahon. He brings to his candidacy not only his extensive legislative experience, and his experience forging solutions through compromise, but – because he is the more electable of the two candidates — also a real hope of change.
Michael McMahon has also shown an ability to make tough choices. As chair of the City Council’s Sanitation and Solid Waste Management Committee, he was instrumental in the creation of a citywide waste management plan that goes a long way to making each borough responsible for its own trash.
We believe that Michael McMahon can fill that congressional seat with honor. He would go to Congress not only fortified by his experiences in the City Council, but with a close knowledge of the myriad problems facing the largely middle and working class residents in both sides of his district, southwestern Brooklyn and Staten Island.
That is a combination that can only benefit the residents of the district, the entire city and the country as a whole.