Rep. Dan Donovan successfully fended off a primary challenge by his predecessor, Michael Grimm, securing the Republican nomination for New York’s 11th congressional district.
With 84 percent of precincts reporting Tuesday night, Donovan clinched the Republican nomination for the district with 10,800 votes to Grimm’s nearly 6,000.
Grimm, a former Federal Bureau of Investigations agent, was seeking to reclaim the congressional district—which covers Staten Island and a slice Brooklyn—after pleading guilty to tax fraud and spending seven months in federal prison. But even a boost from former Trump administration officials and allies—such as Anthony Scaramucci, the short-lived former White House communications director, and former Trump advisors Steve Bannon and Michael Caputo—wasn’t enough to propel Grimm to victory.
Donovan, who has held the congressional seat since 2015, received a last minute boost from the Trump family. Donald Trump Jr. did a robocall for Donovan on Monday. President Donald Trump’s daughter-in-law, Lara, also recorded a get-out-to-vote video for Donovan.
Donovan’s campaign received a significant boost from outside groups in the days leading up to Tuesday’s primary election. In the last week, outside interest groups have spent more than $542,000 supporting Donovan’s re-election bid, according to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission. The spending includes more than $100,000 from America First Action, a super PAC aligned with the Trump administration, and $350,000 from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
So far this election cycle, more than $1.04 million was spent from outside interests groups in New York’s 11th congressional district, making it the race with the most outside money spent in New York so far, according to Sludge’s analysis of independent expenditures filed with the FEC. All but $20,000 were spent supporting Donovan’s reelection bid.
As Sludge reported earlier today, roughly 70 percent of Donovan’s campaign contributions have come from outside of New York’s 11th district, while Grimm’s campaign donations are largely from the district he once represented.