GOP hopeful mulls reality TV appearance

By Alex Robinson

A long-shot Republican candidate who is challenging U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Astoria) has considered venturing into the world of reality TV.

Nick Di Iorio, 28, and his campaign manager, Joe Shippee, were approached by two Esquire Network producers interested in possibly starring the GOP hopeful in a new multi-episode show, according to correspondences between Shipppee and the Federal Election Commission.

Shippee contacted the FEC shortly after the meeting to request permission to participate and get paid for the gig if Di Iorio was selected.

The young Republican “was one of the candidates approached because the show wants to feature two congressional candidates running in the districts where their odds of winning are very low,” Shippee said in a letter to the FEC.

“Nick appears to fit this description: He is running as a Republican in New York City,” Shippee added.

The show would film Di Iorio and Shippee going about their day-to-day tasks on the campaign between August and the Nov. 4 general election and would provide a look into closed door meetings between the candidate and staff.

In a draft of an advisory opinion, the FEC said Di Iorio could participate in the show as long as no episodes would air before the election and neither he nor Shippee was paid for the venture.

The FEC was set to vote on the draft Wednesday morning, but Shippee withdrew his request before the commission met to consider it.

Di Iorio’s campaign released a statement Tuesday evening saying that while several producers did approached Di Iorio about the possibility of filming him in a reality show, the campaign has not received any show proposals from a network.

“The campaign never actively sought out reality-based media opportunities and is not seeking out reality-based media opportunities,” Shippee said.

Di Iorio is running on the Republican, Conservative and Independence party lines in District 12, which includes most of Astoria and Long Island City, as well as parts of Sunnyside, Brooklyn and Manhattan.

The first-time candidate faces an uphill battle to unseat Maloney in the heavily Democratic district. She was first elected in 1992 and is seeking her 12th consecutive term in office.

Maloney trounced her last Republican challenger in 2012 with more than 70 percent of the vote.

Reach reporter Alex Robinson by e-mail at arobinson@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4566.

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