By NICK LOPEZ
Rep. Michael Grimm was the victor Tuesday in his race against Democrat Mark Murphy for a second term in Congress from a storm-battered Staten Island-Brooklyn district.
With all precincts reporting, Grimm led, 53 percent to 46 percent, a margin of 11,701 votes.
Grimm focused his campaign on his actions as a congressman, such as his effort to win legislation restricting tolls on the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. He campaigned in support of the House Republicans’ proposed budget cuts and opposed the Affordable Care Act, which he wants to repeal. Murphy pointed to a federal investigation concerning the fundraising for Grimm’s 2010 campaign victory.
In a debate before the Staten Island Advance’s editorial board, Grimm predicted he would be “exonerated” through the FBI probe.
Murphy, for his part, denied allegations himself that he never paid child support from a divorce or that he avoided taxes while a real estate businessman in California.
Murphy said Grimm voted to cut $115 billion in federal education spending, while Grimm supported his decision by saying that money can’t be thrown away at the schools without expecting results.
Murphy said during the campaign that he supports bridge and rail investments for more middle-class jobs. He also sponsored a measure to build a natural-gas pipeline from Rockaway to Brooklyn, saying it would create jobs.
Grimm won the seat in 2010 by defeating incumbent Democrat Mike McMahon. He focused his campaign on his background as an FBI agent and U.S. Marine. News reports have investigated his business and political ties, with The New York Times criticizing his “checkered background.”
Murphy, an aide to city Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, worked for Merrill Lynch & Co., and founded Milestone Media Partners, a media finance company. He was also vice president of The Irvine Co., a real estate firm in Los Angeles. Murphy is the son of former Rep. John Murphy, who represented Staten Island for 18 years, losing the seat after his indictment in a bribery scandal.
The 11th Congressional includes all of Staten Island as well as Bay Ridge and Bensonhurst in Brooklyn.