Walsh Is Out

The Syracuse Post-Standard reports that Jim Walsh (NY-25) has made his retirement official.  This is big news for the 29th, which borders the 25th..

Walsh's late retirement means that Republicans will be scrambling to find someone to run against Dan Maffei, who came close to defeating Walsh in the last election, and has already announced his candidacy.   This will not be an easy task, because a new candidate will have a formidable fundraising challenge, especially since Maffei has almost one year's head start.  The Republicans will either have to concede Walsh's seat, or spend more than they planned in NRCC and state money to help the new challenger catch up with Maffei.  This means fewer resources for Randy Kuhl from the state and national party.

It's almost certain that the NY-25 race will now spend less on media.  This means that Rochester's congested media market will have more advertising time to sell to Kuhl and Massa.  Also, the lack of an incumbent in the race means that the incumbent media machinery won't be churning out press releases during the campaign, which will allow the 29th race to garner more attention in the media.

Finally, Walsh's decision to bow out at a late date makes me wonder about Randy Kuhl.  Like Walsh, Kuhl's fundraising this cycle has been anemic.  Perhaps Walsh looked at his 2007 numbers in comparison to Maffei's good showing and decided he just wasn't going to be competitive.  It will be interesting to see Kuhl's numbers, which will be filed by the end of the month.  Kuhl constantly says that he hasn't made up his mind.  I used to think that was theater.  Now I'm not so sure. 


In all seriousness, one has to wonder if Randy Kuhl would ever have run for Congress had he known, that he would have non stop campaigning 24/7 all the time. He would have a much easier life as a career State Senator, where he never had any opposition both from Republicans and Democrats, he didn't have to travel to DC, but instead only to Albany a few weeks a year, and he would have large swaths of time for vacation instead of spending most of his off time running around the 29th doing meetings.

As far as fundraising goes, State fundraising is much much easier than Congressional. All he had to do in Albany was pass a hat around a room of lobbyists, where corp. $$ is allowed, and he didn't have to do anything else.

In Congress, he actualy has to dial for dollars, and one has to wonder if hed rather be doing something else.

Yes, everything is better in the State Senate vs. being a MOC in a contested district. Maybe Randy does have some remorse, but the 29th seat was considered "safe" when Randy ran the firs time, and he cruised to an easy win in 2004. Massa changed that in 2006.

In Congress, he actualy has to dial for dollars, and one has to wonder if hed rather be doing something else.

Good point. People forget about the human element here I'm sure that neither Kuhl nor Walsh nor Maffei nor Massa likes having to fundraise all the time.

Kuhl retiring wouldn't have nearly as much of an effect on the race in NY-29. The Republicans have an edge in NY-29 of +5 Cook PVI and Randy isn't all that respected as a Congressman. Nor is he that well-liked by the press. Some new person might be almost (though probably not quite) as strong a candidate as he is, even though he's an incumbent.

In NY-25, by contrast, Maffei-Walsh was a toss-up but with Walsh gone, it will be tough for Republicans to keep the seat. Presumably they'll make a serious effort and with the right candidate they might possibly be win. But it's also conceivable that no one good will want to run (because they'd probably lose anyway, given the make-up of the district) and that it will be Democratic walk-over.

If Kuhl retires, every Republican office-holder from Corning to Canandaigua will be climbing all over each other to get a shot at the seat. And whoever it is, will fight like the devil to win in the general. There's no way NY-29 ever becomes a Democratic walk-over.

That's what people don't always appreciate about Massa: he's taken a tough district and made it close to an even money race. That's a real accomplishment.

While Eric deserves credit for making the 29th such a close race, most of the credit still goes to President Bush

Elmer: Credit or blame?

Exile: In addition to the fundraising chore, Walsh is also looking at a good job in DC as a lobbyist if he's interested due to his rank on the appropriations committee.

W O W ! Some news!

And yes, Mr. Kuhl hasn't been accustomed to having to do 12-month-a-year campaigning/fundraising. Who knows? Gee, I love this blog. Thank you.

If Kuhl were a State Senator, he could do less harm. But then again, the State probably wouldn't pay for Brazil trips.

If Randy doesn't run he'll be giving up his chance for another tax supported pension and the health insurance that goes along with it.