2008_05_fossellapar.jpgRepresentative Vito Fossella, whose public image has taken a battering after a DWI arrest and admitting to having a girlfriend and toddler in Virginia, was out and about at the Great Kills Memorial Day Parade yesterday. The Advance says he "was cheered, hugged, kissed on the cheek and had supporters jockeying to shake his hand."

Fossella's friend State Senator Andrew Lanza said, "This is an unprecedented outpouring of warmth and support." However, Staten Islanders had mixed reviews: The Daily News spoke to one supporter who said, "We love him, and we're behind him" while another resident said "I don't understand why everyone feels bad for this guy. He cheated on his wife. I'm a Republican, and I wouldn't vote for him again."

And the Post suggests Fossella's indiscretions date back to Fordham Law School: Though he was married to high school sweetheart Mary Pat Rowan at the time, Fossella allegedly told people he wasn't married and had a relationship with a classmate.

Photograph from the Staten Island Advance