Friday, April 20, 2007

'08 Congressional Races Heat Up

This week saw the 2008 New York Congressional races heat up. Here's a recap:

NY-3 : This far before the election, fundraising is the measure of an incumbent's commitment to their next election. So people will be asking questions about Rep. Peter King, who spent $115,690 and raised only $99,005 in the last quarter. That's right, King went in the hole to the tune of almost $17,000 - good news for any potential challenger. He's still got $287,090 in the bank, but all eyes will be watching to see if King can turn things around and regain lost support.

NY-19 : It was campaign launch week for Republican challengers, with millionaire Andrew Saul announcing he was running against John Hall. Hall raised $350,061 and has $342,401 in cash on hand. That's right - Hall is ahead of the much more senior Peter King. Still, expect a fight here.

NY-20 : Look for this to be an expensive race. Kirsten Gillibrand led the pack when it came to fundraising with $668,000 raised, more than any other first-term Rep. But she also picked up a millionaire opponent, Sandy Treadwell. Treadwell was Pataki's Secretary of State and then Chairman of the New York GOP. He made his fortune as an heir to the General Electric fortune. Guess we know where he'll stand on inheritance tax cuts.

NY-25 : This one's a rematch: Dan Maffei is running against James Walsh. Walsh raised $105,091 and has $131,636 in cash on hand. Maffei did surprisingly well in a Democratic year, expect his higher name recognition to translate into a stronger run this time around.

NY-29 : Another rematch: Eric Massa is making a second run against Randy Kuhl. Kuhl raised $115,746 and has $103,559 in cash on hand. Netroots hero Eric Massa will benefit from his increased name recognition and track record as a candidate.

Walsh and Kuhl are being held accountable for their blind support of Bush in Iraq. From the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle:
"Some politicians lead and others follow, and President Bush has been leading the country into an abyss, and Randy Kuhl has been following," said Ted Wilcox, a Metro Justice member. "And we're here to say that he should follow the public, which wants to go a different way."

Walsh and Kuhl voted against an Iraq war funding bill last month that set deadlines for withdrawal of U.S. troops, saying that Congress should not micromanage the war. Kuhl reiterated his stance Thursday, saying the troop buildup in Iraq that he supported earlier this year has had positive results.
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