Michael McMahon

Michael E. McMahon (born September 12, 1957) is an American politician and attorney serving as the District Attorney for Richmond County, which is coextensive with Staten Island. A member of the Democratic Party, McMahon is a former U.S. Representative for New York's 13th congressional district, serving from 2009 until 2011, and a former member of the New York City Council.

Michael McMahon
Congressman McMahon Official Picture.jpg
District Attorney of Richmond County
Assumed office
January 1, 2016
Preceded byDaniel L. Master, Jr.
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 13th district
In office
January 3, 2009 – January 3, 2011
Preceded byVito Fossella
Succeeded byMichael Grimm
Member of the New York City Council
from the 49th district
In office
January 1, 2002 – December 31, 2008
Preceded byJerome X. O'Donovan
Succeeded byKenneth Mitchell
Personal details
Born (1957-09-12) September 12, 1957 (age 63)
Staten Island, New York, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Judith Novellino
ResidenceRandall Manor, Staten Island
EducationNew York University (BA)
New York Law School (JD)

Early life, education and careerEdit

McMahon is a lifelong resident of Staten Island. He is of German and Irish descent. He grew up in the Stapleton neighborhood on the North Shore and attended parochial schools. He graduated from New York University in 1979, later obtaining a law degree from New York Law School. He then worked for Democratic State Assembly members Eric Vitaliano and Elizabeth Connelly. He joined the staff of City Councilman Jerome X. O'Donovan, whom he succeeded in the Council. Prior to being elected to public office, McMahon worked as a partner at O'Leary, McMahon & Spero law firm in Staten Island.[1]

New York City CouncilEdit

McMahon served as the Chair of the New York City Council's Sanitation & Solid Waste Management Committee focusing on minimizing the use of trucks to transport garbage and also more evenly distributing the load of waste processing across the five boroughs.

U.S. House of RepresentativesEdit

Committee assignmentsEdit

Political positionsEdit

In November 2009, McMahon voted along with 38 other Democrats against the Affordable Health Care for America Act [2] and against the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in March 2010.[3] He was the only member of the New York City delegation to do so, and was only one of two New York Democrats, the other being Michael Arcuri, to vote against it.

Political campaignsEdit


On May 28, 2008, the Staten Island Democratic Committee endorsed McMahon to run for the Congressional seat in New York's 13th congressional district being vacated by retiring 12-year incumbent Republican Vito Fossella.[4] On September 9, 2008 McMahon defeated opponent Steve Harrison in the Democratic Party primary with 75% of votes to Harrison's 25%. Earlier, on June 11, 2008, McMahon had been endorsed by the city's 12 Democratic congressmen.[5]

The 13th had long been considered to be the most conservative district of the 13 that divided New York City. It was based in Staten Island, which is the base of the city's Republican Party. Although Democrats have a 17-point edge in registration, its voters are somewhat conservative on social issues and matters regarding "law and order", which kept Republicans in the seat for over a quarter century. However, the Republicans had considerable difficulty finding a replacement for Fossella on the ballot, eventually settling on former state assemblyman Robert Straniere. As a result, nearly all major pundits believed McMahon was almost certain to win the seat.

Congressman McMahon attending a Coast Guard Hearing for the House Transportation Committee on February 4, 2009

In the November election, McMahon won in a landslide, taking 61 percent of the vote to Straniere's 33 percent.[6] With his victory, New York City's congressional delegation became entirely Democratic for the first time in 76 years. This occurred despite the fact that John McCain narrowly carried Staten Island in the presidential election; a Democratic presidential candidate has carried Staten Island only four times since 1952.


McMahon was challenged by Republican and Conservative Party nominee Michael Grimm, a former FBI Special Agent, and Libertarian nominee Tom Vendittelli. Grimm won the election, defeating McMahon.[7] He was one of a number of freshman Democrats who lost reelection in the GOP landslide of 2010.


McMahon had publicly expressed a "serious interest" for retaking his old seat, now numbered as the 11th District, in the 2015 special election to replace his successor Michael Grimm.[8] Grimm, who defeated McMahon for reelection in 2010, announced his plans to resign in January after pleading guilty to a felony tax evasion charge on December 23, 2014.[9] McMahon, however, declined to run, deciding to enter the race for Staten Island (Richmond County) District Attorney, and the Democratic nomination went to New York City Councilman Vincent J. Gentile, who was from the Brooklyn portion of the district.[10][11]

In November, McMahon defeated Republican candidate Joan Illuzzi for Staten Island District Attorney[12]


  1. ^ O'Leary & Spero Law Firm
  2. ^ http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2009/roll887.xml
  3. ^ "Voting History: Rep. Michael McMahon [D, NY-13] - U.S. Congress". OpenCongress. Archived from the original on 2013-04-15. Retrieved 2010-07-12.
  4. ^ "the albany project:: NY-13: Staten Island Dems Nominate McMahon". Archived from the original on 2016-03-12. Retrieved 2008-05-29.
  5. ^ Katz, Celeste (June 11, 2008). "City Congressional Dems Unite Behind McMahon". Daily News. New York. Archived from the original on June 12, 2008.
  6. ^ Election Results 2008: New York The New York Times, December 9, 2008
  7. ^ "Defeated Michael McMahon thanks supporters, says he 'respects' will of voters". Staten Island Advance. November 3, 2010.
  8. ^ Barkan, Ross; Jorgensen, Jillian (December 30, 2014). "Michael Grimm's Predecessor 'Seriously Thinking' About Running for Congress". The New York Observer. Retrieved January 1, 2015.
  9. ^ Jorgensen, Jillian (December 23, 2014). "Michael Grimm Pleads Guilty to Felony Charge But Won't Resign". The New York Observer. Retrieved January 1, 2015.
  10. ^ Colby Hamilton (February 13, 2015). "Sources: Seddio backs Colton for special election". Capital New York. Retrieved April 1, 2015.
  11. ^ Rachel Shapiro (February 27, 2015). "Staten Island Democrats select Vincent Gentile as candidate for Congress". Staten Island Advance. Retrieved April 1, 2015.
  12. ^ Jillian Jorgensen (November 3, 2015). "Democrat Michael McMahon Wins Staten Island District Attorney Race". Observer. Retrieved December 14, 2015.

External linksEdit

Political offices
Preceded by
Jerome X. O'Donovan
New York City Council, 49th District
2002 – 2008
Succeeded by
Kenneth Mitchell
Preceded by
James Molinaro
Deputy Borough President of Staten Island
2002 – 2003
Succeeded by
Edward Burke
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Vito Fossella
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 13th congressional district

2009 – 2011
Succeeded by
Michael Grimm
Legal offices
Preceded by
Daniel L. Master, Jr.
as Acting
District Attorney of Richmond County
2016 – present
Succeeded by