Earlier this month, Staten Island District Attorney Daniel Donovan made headlines for failing to secure an indictment for Daniel Pantaleo, the Staten Island NYPD officer who killed Eric Garner. This week, Donovan is in the papers again, this time as the Republican Party's "clear front runner" for the congressional seat opened up by outgoing representative/convicted felon Michael Grimm.

According to The New York Observer, sources within the Staten Island GOP say Donovan "has emerged as the strongest candidate" and will likely win the party's backing in the upcoming special election.

Donovan has yet to formally announce his candidacy, but on Tuesday he released a statement saying he was "very seriously considering the race."

From the Staten Island Advance:

[Staten Island Borough President Guy] Molinari said he doesn't think the grand jury decision in the Eric Garner case will hurt Donovan, even as some criticized the district attorney's handling of the case.

"He did what you're supposed to do: He brought the facts before a grand jury and the grand jury spoke," Molinari said. "That's a tough part of the business."

Among the lingering questions surrounding the Garner case: Donovan's unexplained decision to leave a reckless endangerment charge against Officer Pantaleo off the table.

Others were more direct in their assessment of how the case affected Donovan's reputation.

"He could have killed the guy himself and still would get re-elected," one Island Democrat told The Daily Beast. "Everybody just loves Danny. To them, the guy can do no wrong."

[Image via AP Images//h/t Wall Street Journal]