GOP Candidates "Sling Mud" in Race for Fossella's Seat

We earlier mentioned the divisions in the Staten Island Republican Party that threatened the chances of whatever GOP contender ends up running for the seat of disgraced Republican Congressman Vito Fossella in the 13th CD. We then focused on two exiles from the Republican primary who were hanging in as write-in candidates.

But the Staten Island Advance tells us that the two slated contenders, Dr. Jamshad "Jim" Wyne and Robert "Bob" Straniere, now "sling mud" at each other with highly inflammatory charges.

According to the Advance, Straniere has accused Wyne, formerly and professional known as Jamshad Wyne, of "trying to hide his Pakistani and Muslim heritage by 'changing his name'" for this race to Jim -- a provocative claim in the culturally conservative borough. He also called Wyne, whom the state Health Department had put on probation for professional misconduct in 2003, "ethically challenged."

Wyne accuses Straniere of trying to solicit from him an "illegal" contribution to Straniere's 2001 Beep race -- a crime for which "two politicians, one running for Queens borough president and the other for public advocate, were jailed" previously, the Advance says.

The Advance also reports that Straniere has "acknowledged that he will not be eligible to vote for himself in the primary because he is not a resident of the 13th Congressional District."

This isn't good for whomever eventually receives the GOP nomination. Meanwhile top Democrats continue to turn out for Michael McMahon, who has gotten far more powerful endorsements for the right to contest the seat for the Democratic Party than his more progressive opponent, Stephen Harrison. The Brooklyn Eagle saw Brooklyn Beep Marty Markowitz campaigning with McMahon at the Staten Island Ferry terminal, a sharp blow to the Brooklyn-based Harrison.

Harrison continues to fight the good fight; he went all the way out to Tottenville's Conference House Park on Sunday to protest the substandard conditions at Staten Island beaches. But with even progressive stalwarts like Representative John Hall discussing the 13th CD race with reporters without giving him props, Harrison must be feeling awfully lonely these days.


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