Republican consultant Susan Del Percio in our most recent print edition:
Even as the size of New York’s Congressional delegation shrinks from 29 to 27, there is an opportunity for the number of Republican representatives to grow.
Currently there are eight Republican members of the House from New York, though owing to redistricting, Rep. Bob Turner’s seat has been eliminated. Of the remaining seven Peter King, Michael Grimm, Chris Gibson, Richard Hanna and Tom Reed are all in strong positions to win reelection. This leaves only Reps. Nan Hayworth and Ann Marie Buerkle with the challenge of fending off their Democratic opponents in order for Republicans to keep their conference intact.
The rematch between Buerkle and former one-term Congressman Dan Maffei has already been touted as one of the hottest races to watch in the country. Hayworth’s showdown with Sean Patrick Maloney, a former aide to President Clinton, also promises to be a top-tier race.
One aspect of these contests is how the Affordable Care Act will affect their outcome. Buerkle rode in on the anti-“Obamacare” wave in 2010. She has continued to speak out against it, and voted to repeal the law as part of the Republican Party’s “repeal and replace” strategy. Hayworth also voted against the act but now finds herself in the position of having to defend the vote, instead of wielding it as an asset like Buerkle is.
But will “Obamacare” be the issue that helps Republicans pick up even more seats in New York? Nope. The issue that will elect more New York Republicans to the House of Representatives is the economy. And, boy, are Republicans ready for that fight.
On Long Island there is a rematch between Rep. Tim Bishop and businessman Randy Altschuler for NY-1. Altschuler lost by only 593 votes after going through a rough-and-tumble primary. This year he easily defeated his primary opponent with 87 percent of the vote.
Upstate in NY-21 another rematch is heating up, between Rep. Bill Owens and former Deutsche Bank managing director Matt Doheny. In 2010 Doheny ran on the Republican and Independence lines and lost by 1,995 votes in a three-way race. This year he will also have the benefit of the Conservative line, held in the prior race by Doug Hoffman. Hoffman’s absence is not insignificant. In 2010 he received over 10,000 votes on the Conservative line, more than enough to tip the election to Doheny.
In NY-25 Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks is challenging Democratic Rep. Louise Slaughter. Not only is the newly drawn district believed to more favorable to Republicans, but Brooks’ popularity is off the charts and her fundraising has kept pace, meaning she poses a real threat to the 82-year-old incumbent.
Out in Western New York, freshman Democrat Kathy Hochul scored an upset victory for her conservative-leaning seat in a special election last May, but her redrawn district has become even redder. In the new NY-27 she will face former Erie County Executive Chris Collins. Collins was elected county executive in 2007 even though Democrats outnumber Republicans in the area 2–1. Collins did lose his reelection bid in 2011, but it is believed he will mount a vigorous self-financed challenge that will greatly test Hochul’s resilience.
To read the full column at City & State click here.
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