NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — One of the bigger upsets of Tuesday’s midterm election washed away the only New York City Republican seat in Congress.
Democrat Max Rose beat out Congressman Dan Donovan in the state’s 11th District. Dueling campaign signs reflected a Staten Island slugfest between the 62-year-old incumbent and the Army veteran who was half his age.
Some Staten Islanders are in shock. In a one-on-one interview with CBS2, Congressman-elect Rose explained what he thinks was behind the upset that helped cement Democratic control of the House.
“We ran a campaign that was centered around a positive vision for the future of the country,” Rose said.
Donovan didn’t make himself available to speak on Wednesday. Throughout his campaign, he praised his challenger as a nice guy who served his country and was wounded while doing so. Both candidates said they were not, and are not, enemies, which some now see as a lack of fight on Donovan’s part.
“Rose did not have the disadvantages of incumbency,” David Birdsell from the Baruch College School of Public Affairs said. “What’s attractive about him is the personal story and moderate policies.”
Rose insists he didn’t run out of allegiance to the Democratic Party, and many on Staten Island expect him to serve with a strong independent streak.
“I don’t think he’ll just be following Nancy Pelosi on everything,” Castleton Corners resident Robert Mazzarella said.
“He’s not as liberal, but he’ll go with the Democrats,” Dongan Hills resident Mike Dunn said. “He won’t give Trump a chance.”
In a borough where you often see American flags waving in front of homes, the campaign signs will start disappearing soon enough. As will the calls and door knocks from campaign volunteers.
Residents say anyone who thinks they have Staten Island all figured out need only look at the race in the 11th District to see otherwise.