Thursday, June 5, 2008

Thanksgiving is Going to be So Awkward: Sophoclean Farce on Staten Island

You probably know the story of Rep. Vito Fossella (R-NY), the Staten Island Republican who had to fold his reelection campaign shortly after he was arrested for drunk driving and his "second" family in Alexandria, VA was quickly discovered. Tough couple weeks that guy had.

Anyway, the Republicans have been having some trouble finding a candidate to run in Fossella's stead. They finally settled on Francis H. Powers. End of story? Not so much.

We learned yesterday that Francis M. Powers (pictured), the 47 year old son of the Republican candidate, is planning to run against his father as the Libertarian candidate. There will be two men named Francis Powers on the ballot.

"This is not about my dad," said the younger Powers, 47, a master carpenter from Clifton who plays and sings with the Staten Island band Box of Crayons and runs an indie record label called Penny for the Guy Records. "I'm running against the Republican candidate."

Known as Fran, Powers is the eldest of five children from his father's first marriage, which ended in divorce 30 years ago.

Fran Powers insisted his candidacy is not a "vendetta" against his father.

"I'm not going to say that my dad treated me bad when I was a kid," Fran Powers said. "I know his policies. I'm running against someone I know."

When asked about the timing of his entry into the race, Powers said, "Me being his son gives me a different platform than normal," a platform that Powers said he wouldn't have against another candidate.

"We can't have the Republicans take this seat again," he added. "A vote for my father is a vote for the straight Republican ticket."

Strong words. But then Dad slaps back:

"I've tried very hard for many years to help my son," the elder Powers said in a statement released by his campaign.

"Unfortunately, he's rejected everyone's help to live a healthy lifestyle. Regardless of whether he wants to run for Congress, I still stand ready to help him move his life in a positive direction."


This has to be the coolest congressional race of all time.

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