NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Voters picked Republican Staten Island District Attorney Dan Donovan Tuesday night to replace former Congressman Michael Grimm.

Donovan gained national attention when the grand jury he impaneled did not indict NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo in the death of Eric Garner.

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He defeated City Councilman Vincent Gentile (D-23rd), the seniormost member of the City Council and a former state senator.

With 98 percent of the vote counted, Donovan had 60 percent of the vote, compared to 39 percent for Gentile.

“Tonight is not just a victory for my campaign, but a victory for America,” Donovan said in his victory speech. “The hardworking men and women of the middle class spoke loud and clear.”

The 11th congressional district was seat left vacant when Grimm resigned earlier this year after pleading guilty to federal tax evasion charges in December.

“We’ve helped make Staten Island the safest community and the safest big city in all of America,” Donovan said while casting his ballot at P.S. 13. “If you look at my opponent’s record as a legislator, he raised people’s taxes. That’s something that I don’t want to do.”

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“People are excited, and I’m excited, too. It really is, I think, going to be a great day,” said Gentile, who voted at his alma mater, Fort Hamilton High School in Brooklyn.

The heavily Republican district re-elected Grimm even after his federal indictment in 2014 so political experts say Gentile faces long odds in the race.

Most of the district is on Staten Island, and Gentile is from Brooklyn. But he did not think that’s an issue.

“Because I got elected three times in Staten Island,” he told WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell. “I representend Staten Island for a number of years in the state Senate.”

Also in the race was Green Party candidate James Lane, CBS2’s Diane Macedo reported.

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An extremely light turnout was expected in the race, 1010 WINS’ Glenn Schuck reported.