New York Primary: Dan Donovan defeats Michael Grimm on Staten Island

NEW YORK (WABC) -- U.S. Rep. Dan Donovan singled out President Donald Trump's support as key to his survival Tuesday in fending off a tough Republican primary challenge from Michael Grimm, a former congressman who appeared on the verge of a political comeback three years after resigning to serve prison time for tax fraud.

Click here for the latest results from the New York primary

Donovan, New York City's only Republican congressman, told supporters at a ballroom on the Staten Island waterfront that Trump had "stuck his neck out" with his endorsement late last month and that voters should return the favor by thwarting a Democratic majority and efforts to impeach the president.

"We cannot let that happen," Donovan said.

Trump congratulated Donovan in a tweet about an hour after the polls closed, calling it a "tremendous win" and saying that the former prosecutor had "showed great courage in a tough race!"

In a tweeted endorsement on May 30, Trump warned that a vote for Grimm risked handing the seat to Democrats. At least one independent poll had showed Grimm leading the race at the time.

Trump's son, Donald Jr., recorded a phone call to voters on Monday. His daughter-in-law, Lara Trump, recorded a video for Donovan. His lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, appeared with Donovan at a campaign rally on June 16.

Donovan faces Democratic primary winner Max Rose in the general election on Nov. 6, which is his 62nd birthday.

"This is only half over," Donovan said. "We have our work cut out. We need to keep this seat."

Grimm conceded and congratulated Donovan soon after the polls closed. He told his supporters it was "extremely important" to back the incumbent and keep the seat Republican.

Grimm also suggested that he'd be heard from again.

"Don't worry," he told supporters at a Staten Island Hilton Garden Inn. "This is just the beginning for Michael Grimm."

Donovan won in New York's 11th Congressional District, which covers Staten Island and part of Brooklyn.

A victory would have been a remarkable comeback for Grimm, who resigned his seat and spent more than seven months in a federal prison after pleading guilty in 2014 to cheating the government out of income and payroll taxes at his Manhattan restaurant.

In a bitter and bruising primary campaign, Grimm was unapologetic over his conviction, claiming that tax abuses among restaurant owners were common and his prosecution was politically motivated.

He assailed Donovan as a lightweight who hasn't done enough for his constituents.

The rancorous fight between the two Republicans was the most notable of several congressional primaries being decided around the state, including Democratic contests that attracted a crowd of candidates eager to take on GOP incumbents, and the race to replace the late U.S. Rep. Louise Slaughter, who died in March.

One of the primaries resulted in a shocking upset, as Rep. Joseph Crowley was defeated by a 28-year-old Bernie Sanders supporter, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

The outcome of the races will decide which candidates for New York's 27 congressional seats go on to the fall elections.

Take a closer look at the primary races:

New York's 11th Congressional District

What Makes up the District?
All of Staten Island and parts of southern Brooklyn

Who is Running?
Republicans: Rep. Dan Donovan (incumbent), Former Congressman Michael Grimm
Democrats: Max Rose, Michael DeVito, Zach Emig, Radhakrishna Mohan, Paul Sperling, Omar Vaid

Race Details
All eyes were on the Republican primary where both Rep. Dan Donovan and Michael Grimm have repeatedly clashed over who President Trump prefers in the race. Donovan won a special election in 2015. He replaced Grimm in the House after Grimm plead guilty to felony tax evasion.

Grimm accused Donovan of offering to get him a presidential pardon if he dropped out of the race. Donovan acknowledged that he discussed a pardon but insists the president was not interested.
Both candidates have expressed their desire to get President Trump's agenda accomplished.

On the Democratic side, U.S. Army veteran Max Rose won the endorsement of the local service employees union.
New York's 12th Congressional District

What Makes up the District?
East Side of Manhattan, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Western Queens

Who is Running?
Democrats: Rep. Carolyn Maloney (incumbent), Hotel Executive Suraj Patel

Race Details
Rep. Carolyn Maloney has served in Congress since 1993, but faced a well-funded challenger. Suraj Patel has raised more than a $1 million in his campaign. The 34-year-old accused Maloney of being out of touch with the district's millennial population. Maloney, in turn, raised concerns about Patel's business record and voter registration.

New York's 14th Congressional District

What Makes up the District?

Eastern Bronx, North-Central Queens

Who is Running?
Democrats: Rep. Joseph Crowley (incumbent), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
Race Details
Rep. Joe Crowley, the fourth-ranking Democrat in the House, wields sizable influence over Democratic politics both in New York City and on Capitol Hill, but faced a challenge from a young progressive challenger. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is 28 years old and focused her campaign on engaging millennials as well as Black and Hispanic voters.

New York's 19th Congressional District

What Makes up the District?
Columbia, Delaware, Greene, Otsego, Schoharie, Sullivan, and Ulster counties, and parts of Broome, Dutchess, Montgomery, and Rensselaer counties

Who is Running?
Democrats: Jeff Beals, David Clegg, Erin Collier, Antonio Delgado, Brian Flynn, Gareth Rhodes, Pat Ryan

Race Details
Seven different Democrats were looking for the chance to face Republican Representative John Faso in November. Nationally, Democrats see Rep. Faso as vulnerable, but the party has not officially backed any of the primary candidates. Entrepreneur Brian Flynn, businessman Pat Ryan, and attorney Antonio Delgado, have all raised more than $1 million so far. Gareth Rhodes, a former aide to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, is being supported by other former Cuomo staff. Erin Collier, the sole woman in the race, has the backing of EMILY's List.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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