President Donald Trump on Wednesday endorsed incumbent GOP Rep. Dan Donovan for New York’s 11th Congressional District seat, over Republican ex-Congressman Michael Grimm, comparing Grimm’s candidacy to the failed Alabama Senate bid by Republican Roy Moore.
“There is no one better to represent the people of N.Y. and Staten Island (a place I know very well) than @RepDanDonovan, who is strong on Borders & Crime, loves our Military & our Vets, voted for Tax Cuts and is helping me to Make America Great Again. Dan has my full endorsement!” Trump said on Twitter.
He then wrote in a follow-up tweet: “Very importantly, @RepDanDonovan will win for the Republicans in November…and his opponent will not. Remember Alabama. We can’t take any chances on losing to a Nancy Pelosi controlled Democrat!”
Trump’s mention of Alabama refers to the seat won by Democratic Sen. Doug Jones in the special election to fill Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ seat. Trump initially endorsed the appointed Sen. Luther Strange. However, Strange lost in the primary to controversial GOP candidate Roy Moore. Ultimately, Moore lost to Jones, despite both Trump’s and the Republican National Convention’s later endorsement of Moore.
Donovan is set to face off against Grimm, who went to jail for tax evasion, in the June 26 primary.
Although Trump said Donovan had voted for tax cuts, the congressman was one of 12 GOP House members who voted against the final version of the Republican tax bill.
Grimm announced his bid to reclaim his former seat last year – more than a year after being released from prison.
“I have matured. I’m tempered. I’m wiser. But I’m still the same guy you know yearning to serve you every chance I get,” Grimm said during the campaign launch event. “Michael Grimm always goes the distance.”
The 11th Congressional District is made up of Staten Island and parts of southern Brooklyn, including the neighborhoods of Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst and Gravesend. Donovan was elected to finish out Grimm’s term and was re-elected to serve a full term in 2016.
Last week, Trump was at a roundtable on illegal immigration and the MS-13 gang where Donovan was also present.
CNN’s Caroline Kenny contributed to this report.