James Oddo

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James Oddo
NLN Jim Oddo.jpg
15th Borough President of Staten Island
Assumed office
January 1, 2014
Preceded by James Molinaro
Minority Leader of the New York City Council
In office
January 1, 2002 – December 31, 2013
Preceded by Thomas Ognibene
Succeeded by Vincent Ignizio
Member of the New York City Council
from the 50th district
In office
February 1, 1999 – December 31, 2013
Preceded by John Fusco
Succeeded by Steven Matteo
Personal details
Born James Steven Oddo
(1966-01-12) January 12, 1966 (age 51)
Staten Island, New York, U.S.
Nationality American
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Kim Petersen (2014–present)
Alma mater Fordham University (B.A.)
New York Law School (J.D.)
Website Staten Island Borough President

James Steven Oddo (born January 12, 1966) is a Republican politician from Staten Island, currently serving as the Borough President of Staten Island.

Early life and career[edit]

Born on Staten Island as the youngest of four sons in a family of city employees, James Oddo earned a B.A. from Fordham University and a J.D. from New York Law School.

He started in politics by working as Chief of Staff to then-councilman John Fusco for seven years and as Legal Counsel to the former Council Minority Leader Thomas Ognibene. He was first elected in February 1999 in order to fill the seat vacated by John Fusco, and has always been reelected since. After the resignation of Ognibene, he was elected Minority Leader of the City Council with the consent of the three other Republicans on the Council in 2002.

His district, the 50th, is located mainly on Staten Island and encompasses the neighborhoods of Arrochar, Bulls Head, Castleton Corners, Concord, Dongan Hills, Emerson Hill, Fort Wadsworth, Grant City, Graniteville, Grasmere, Heartland Village, Isle of Meadows, Meiers Corners, Midland Beach, New Dorp, New Springville, Oakwood, Ocean Breeze, Old Town, Prall's Island, Richmondtown, South Beach, Todt Hill, Travis, Westerleigh, and Willowbrook; but also parts of Bensonhurst, Dyker Heights and Bath Beach in Brooklyn.

On October 20, 2010, he announced he would run for the office of Staten Island Borough President in 2013.[1] On November 5, 2013, he was elected to office with 48,168 votes (69%). He outran Democratic candidate Lou Liedy, Green Party candidate Henry Bardel, and Libertarian Party candidate Silas Johnson. His percentage of 69% was the highest ever for a non-incumbent winner of the office, beating the record set by Republican Robert Connor in 1965.[2]

Staten Island Bus Study[edit]

Borough President Oddo championed the Staten Island Bus Study which has recommended major service cuts to Staten Island express buses which will cause one seat rides to require a transfer to already overcrowded Subway lines in Manhattan. [3]

Norwegian comedy show incident[edit]

Councilman Oddo received attention[4] when a video of the councilman appeared on YouTube around October 5, 2007.[5] In the video clip, Oddo is shown being interviewed by a film crew from the Norwegian comedy show Rikets røst (meaning "Voice of the Nation"), a show similar to The Colbert Report. The comedians had gained entry to councilman Oddo's office by posing as TV journalists who wanted to get the view of a Republican on the upcoming U.S. presidential election.

Instead, the interviewer, Pia Haraldsen, played the role of an uninformed foreigner.[6] She asked how Barack Obama could run for president, "as he is not a U.S. citizen" (when informed by Oddo that Obama is indeed an American, she wondered about that, given that she had read somewhere that he was "African-American") and asked if Senator Clinton could be president "after that embarrassing incident with the cigar?" On the aired clip, Haraldsen cannot refrain from smiling as Oddo starts swearing at and threatening the film crew. One of the film crew's cameras continues recording the incident, as Oddo, in a profanity-laced tirade, furiously tells them to get "the fuck" out of his office. Oddo later apologized, stating the tirade was "inappropriate" but that the sentiment beneath it was entirely appropriate.[7][8]

Support of Congressman Fossella[edit]

Oddo supported scandal-plagued Congressman Vito Fossella stating that he "knows what [Fossella's] core is about" and "He is my friend ... and I stand with him during the good times and I stand with him during the difficult times. What he needs to do is what he did today: Say, 'I'm ready to be held accountable and apologize and I have to heal myself, heal my relationship with my friends and family, and heal my relationship with my community.'"[9] Fosella subsequently declined to run for re-election.[10]


  1. ^ Wrobleski, Tom. "Oddo will run for Staten Island borough president in 2013". Staten Island Advance. Retrieved October 20, 2010. 
  2. ^ Wrobleski, Tom (November 6, 2013). "Photos/video: Republican James Oddo rolls to historic Staten Island borough presidential win". silive.com. Staten Island Advance. Retrieved November 7, 2013. 
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ Kuntzman, Gersh (2007-10-13). "Jimmy Oddo rules `Rost´: Pol f-bombs the Norwegians". The Brooklyn Paper. Retrieved 2008-10-08. 
  5. ^ YouTube: James Oddo interview - "Get the f*** out of my office"
  6. ^ YouTube: Pia Haraldsen interview on Fox News - "I'm playing the role of a stupid, ignorant, blonde reporter."
  7. ^ YouTube: James Oddo explanation, Silive.com
  8. ^ "Oddo Apologizes For Curse-Word Laden Tirade". NY1. 2007-10-09. Archived from the original on 2009-06-24. Retrieved 2009-01-03. 
  9. ^ "Vito's blood-alcohol level twice the legal limit, Va. cops say". Staten Island Advance. 2008-05-02. 
  10. ^ "Vito Fosella". NNDB. Retrieved November 7, 2013. 

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
John Fusco
New York City Council, 50th District
Succeeded by
Steven Matteo
Preceded by
Thomas Ognibene
Minority Leader, New York City Council
Succeeded by
Vincent Ignizio
Preceded by
James Molinaro
Borough President of Staten Island