Republicans "filled with enthisiasm"
John Friscia, chairman of the Staten Island Republican Party, said in a brief written statement that the party was beginning the process of interviewing potential candidates. “We are filled with enthusiasm at the number of qualified persons that have expressed interest in becoming part of the Republican team this November,” he said.
Hard Times for the G.O.P.
The Republicans’ recruiting difficulties could spell trouble. Although the district — which is close to Ground Zero, and was much affected by Sept. 11 — went for Mr. Bush in 2004, in 2000 it went for Al Gore by 8 points. Without a strong Republican candidate, and with the bad taste left over from Mr. Fossella’s missteps, the seat might well flip blue.
The Republicans have already suffered a series of defeats in special elections in traditionally Republican districts over the last few months, capped by their recent loss of a heavily Republican seat in Mississippi.
The 13th District is a seat the Republicans should not have had to worry terribly about holding. The fact that they are very worried — or should be — is another sign of the serious erosion of the Republican brand.