Battle of the Neophytes

Randy Kuhl makes much of his local background and his 24 years in the New York State legislature. At the debate in Bath, where his successors in both the state Assembly and Senate were present, he went through a long discussion how he decided to run for Congress. Part of his reasoning was that it was time to let those two get a chance to move up in the organization. Both are running unopposed, as Kuhl did 9 of the 12 times he ran for state office.

Kuhl's campaign manager is his son James. His main spokesman, Bob Van Wicklin, also worked for Amo Houghton, who had 79% of the vote the last time he ran for Congress.

Though Kuhl can rightly claim that he has far more legislative experience than Eric Massa, he can't make the same claim about campaign experience. This is probably the first tight race of his political career, and it's also probably the first for his staff. As we come down the home stretch, we can expect both campaigns to make a few "first timer" mistakes. That's what makes this race so interesting.


wait now, the lst tight race of his career was TWO years ago. Remember: A mid-twenties newcomer, both to campaigning and relatively to the Southern Tier, gave him a nip-and-tuck race. Samara B. CARRIED Monroe County. Can you believ ethat?

Amo Houghton had actually hoped to retire 4 years before he actually did, but no serious GOP candidate was willing to make the race. Randy, who had panted after the job for years, is said to have turned down the chance back then because he was in the midst of his divorce. Had he won, he would have been forced to calculate alimony based on his higher congressional pay, and he didn't want to do that. His avowed devotion to service has its limits, it seems.

Pepper - Barend gave him a race, but he won by 10% even with Assini taking 6% of the conservative vote. I think this one will be much tighter, and Massa has already raised more than Barend did in the whole of the '04 race.

Observer - I can understand why Kuhl might not want to run if he's in the middle of a divorce, but I hardly think that alimony would be the major reason.

I'm surprised that the Congressman's son is managing the campaign. I thought Randy would have hired some political pros but it probably is too expensive. In this district it probably doesn't make sense to do that. We'll know in a few weeks whether it was a wise choice.

Come on! One of his three sons is 'running' the campaign the way I am 'mayor' of Olean---or something like that. It is largely in name only, intended to prop up some semblance of "family". Who can't see that? And yes, Randy was after Amo's seat for years and years.....He grew up in Hammondsport during the era of Rockefeller and Lefkowitz and loves politics, a good thing. He has "lived" for this chance. I think that if Howard Dean would budge and move some dollars into this race, and they target the Conservatives who voed for Assini--it's all available if you care to make time to analyze--and those precincts thrughout the District which have a history of ticket-splitting, particularly for Schumer, this thing could be tight-tight-tight.