The most-contested congressional race in New York City this November is in the 11th district, which comprises all of Staten Island and a portion of Brooklyn. Republican incumbent Congressman Dan Donovan is facing political newcomer Max Rose, the Democratic nominee and an Army veteran.

NY1 will host a debate between Dan Donovan and Max Rose LIVE on October 16 at 7 p.m. ET. Click here for more info.

Here are some key issues that could decide the race:


President Donald Trump endorsed Donovan in his hard-fought primary against Michael Grimm, and Donovan took the endorsement and ran with it. For months, Donovan has touted Trump's support, banking on the fact that he easily carried the district in the 2016 presidential race. Donovan voted in line with Trump's positions about 87 percent of the time, according to

While he's received support from national Democrats and supports many liberal policies, Rose hasn't taken a hard line against the president. In an interview with NY1's "Inside City Hall" this month, Rose wouldn't say if he supported potential impeachment proceedings against Trump. Instead, Rose said he would be willing to work with the president if he worked on some of his campaign promises like infrastructure and fighting the opioid epidemic.

How unaffiliated voters perceive the candidates' position on Trump may be a significant factor in the race. Democrats may have an enrollment advantage in the district, but voters unaffiliated with any party often swing elections, and there are more than 88,000 of them.


One of the biggest talking points in the race has been where candidates are getting their money. Rose says that Donovan has been bought by PACs, special interests, and federal lobbyists.

Trying to push his argument, Rose launched a website,, which claims Donovan failed to stop the opioid crisis on Staten Island because he received $10,000 from an executive and the former CEO of Purdue Pharma, a major pharmaceutical company.

Donovan, meanwhile, denies he's influenced by campaign donations and tried to turn the issue back on Rose, claiming that a tiny fraction of Rose's individual campaign donations actually come from people living in the district. NY1 did the math: As of the end of June, it was almost 5 percent.

The New York congressman has argued that the large percentage of Rose's money coming from outside the district is a sign that Rose is beholden to outside liberals who are trying to flip the seat.


Health care is one of several high-profile issues where Donovan broke with Trump during his time in Congress. Donovan voted against the American Health Care Act, which was the GOP's replacement for the Affordable Care Act. He cited his disagreement with an amendment that exempted counties outside of New York City from contributing to the state's Medicaid fund.

On both Donovan's Congressional and campaign websites, he mentions a need to reform some parts of the Affordable Care Act, but calls for keeping some of its provisions, such as preventing insurance companies from denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions and allowing children to stay on their parents' health care plan up to the age of 26.

On Rose's campaign website, he calls for a public health care option and for lowering the age of eligibility for Medicare to 55. He vows to continue to fund Planned Parenthood and fight efforts to restrict a woman's right to choose. Donovan voted two separate times for a bill that outlaws abortions after 20 weeks.


In 2015, Donovan called for a path to citizenship, and last year he voted against a bill that punished "sanctuary cities" that protected undocumented immigrants.

But during the primary, Donovan shifted his stance to be more in line with Trump's. In April, he unveiled a bill that calls for punishing "sanctuary cities." He also defended the Trump administration's policy of separating immigrant children from their families at the border.

Rose, meanwhile, calls for comprehensive immigration reform on his campaign website. He also calls for protecting recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program, which defers deportation for some immigrants brought to the United States when they were children.