Posts containing facts about the race in the 29th.

Looking at the Field

Sean Carroll has a good run-down of the Democrats and Republicans who could run for the 29th seat. Sean covered the Southern Tier before moving to WHAM, so he knows the players in both regions.

Joe Dunning's Column

Corning Leader Editor Joe Dunning writes about Eric Massa today [pdf] in his Sunday column. (here's the jump [pdf]). It's his usual perceptive take, and well worth a read. Thanks as always to Reader Elmer for keeping us informed.

14 Minutes of Pure Randy Gold

Sean Carroll has posted a telephone interview with Randy Kuhl. Randy's clearly itching to run, but what's interesting about the piece is how Sean trips Randy up.

Randy touts an online poll in the Hornell Evening Tribune that had a pretty good result for him. Unfortunately, he doesn't know that Sean has an email of Randy telling his supporters to go to the site and vote. Randy finally sorta confesses.

Randy brings up the poll at about 7:45, and the whole thing swirls around the toilet after that.

If you're really up for some punishment, listen to the whole call, because the first thing out of Randy's mouth is that he's shredding documents. It's innocent (he's shredding old law office files), but perhaps not the best way to describe his current activities.

Tea Leaves

Today's D&C race story contains this quote from a NRCC spokesman:

Officials at the National Republican Congressional Committee said they are standing by to support Reed.

“We’ve always been impressed by Tom Reed,” said spokesman Tory Mazzola.

In a few congressional districts, the NRCC has backed a second GOP candidate prior to a primary, Mazzola said.

Maggie Brooks has already met with the NRCC. I'd have expected the NRCC to keep quiet if Brooks were seriously considering a run.

That story also adds a couple possibles to the Democratic field: Canandaigua Mayor Ellen Polimeni, state Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton of Ithaca and Elmira Mayor John Tonello.

WGRZ reports that State Senator Cathy Young has repeated her vow not to run.

Another Democrat Emerges

Sean Carroll at WHAM has an exclusive about a possible new Democratic candidate for the 29th: Monroe County District Attorney Mike Green.

So far, MCDC chair Joe Morelle is floating Green's name. Green hasn't commented publicly. He could run without resigning his job as DA.

Reed's Campaign Speaks

I received the following from the Reed campaign:

Congressman Massa's resignation doesn't change anything for us. Tom committed to running eight months ago and run he will whether in a special election or general whenever the process works itself out. Seven of the eight Republican chairs have re-affirmed their support and we are moving forward.

On Wednesday, Reed had the support of "all" the chairs. I'd guess that the one chair who's dropped off the list is Monroe County's.

I'd like to see Reed stay in the race. Anyone who's read this blog knows I've given him plenty of grief, most of which is richly deserved, and I'll continue to do so if he stays in. But I don't want him in because I think his presence would give a Democrat a better chance of winning. I honestly don't think that.

My reason is simple: we need more new faces in public office. A Reed candidacy, like Massa's, shows everyone that it is possible for someone without 20 years of political dues-paying to have a real shot at being a Member of Congress. The political system in Rochester and the Southern Tier is like a union hall: you need to hang around and pay your dues for years if you want to do more than sweep the floors. That's not what the founders had in mind.

Reed had the grit to give it a shot. That deserves some respect in my book, no matter what I think of his politics.

Crickets from Reed

Until Massa's resignation, the Reed campaign was issuing a steady stream of press releases. I've been looking for Reed's take on the resignation, but I haven't heard anything from his normally very communicative campaign.

I think this Politico story gives a reason why. Maggie Brooks has been meeting with the NRCC and Chris Lee (R-NY-26). I assume Reed is being dutifully quiet until Brooks decides what to do.

I stand by my view that Reed's a better candidate than Brooks for the 29th. But, for the party, Brooks is a better candidate.

I'll bet that the scenario they're looking at is a 2012 redistricting that would give Lee a seat that includes the Southern Tier, and Maggie a seat that includes Rochester. She'd be an incumbent. with the best chance to win in a district which would inevitably have a pretty high Democratic registration advantage.

The question that remains is what Tom Reed gets out of the deal.

Massa's Full Statement

Massa's full statement is included after the break, for the record.

Another Statement from Randy

Another ex-Randy Kuhl employee, Meghan Tisinger, sends this release from Randy Kuhl:

Bath, NY – Former Congressman John R. Kuhl released the following statement regarding the announcement that Congressman Eric Massa will resign effective Monday.

“Congressman Massa’s decision to resign is the right one. The impending ethics investigation is and would be a dangerous distraction to him and the 29th Congressional District. I sincerely hope that he takes this time to rebuild any damage to his family and get the medical care that he needs to beat cancer.

Now we must look to the future of this congressional seat and the desperate need for leadership in Congress. Although, I am still deciding on my political future one thing is for sure, we need a proven experienced leader to represent the 29th Congressional District. Over the last 15 months we all have seen the ramifications of out of control spending and reckless leadership. This district deserves to have a representative who will stand up for them and their interest."

The Special

Based on our recent experience in NY-23, here are some facts to keep in mind:

  • There's no primary before a special election. Candidates are picked by the party apparatus.
  • Party chairs tend to do a poor job picking candidates: Dede Scozzafava being a recent example.
  • John McHugh announced his resignation June 2, and his resignation was effective at the end of September. The NY-23 election was held in November, to coincide with the regularly scheduled election. That's four months of campaigning.
  • Given all that, some speculation:

  • Reed has been endorsed by party chairs. He's the prohibitive favorite for the Republican nod.
  • Who knows what Dems will do. Massa is extremely influential in Tier politics. Even though he's resigning in disgrace, he's still an effective politician and may be able to convince party chairs that his pick, Shawn Hogan, has the best chance of winning.
  • National party organizations and the press give these elections a lot of attention. That's especially true in this cycle, when everyone's expecting Democrats to lose seats, but nobody knows how many. The NRCC and DCCC are going to spend big, and there will be a lot of national media attention.
  • At this moment, the DCCC has significantly more cash on hand than the NRCC. But the NRCC has to spend big, since they now have a good chance to win the seat. At the minimum, the DCCC will send enough to signal serious intent to the NRCC, because it's in the DCCC's interest for the NRCC to blow a wad on this election.
  • If Massa resigns effective Monday, waiting until the next scheduled election (the September 14 primary) would entail over six months of vacancy. I can't see that happening.
  • Paterson is probably on the road to resignation himself. This clouds the whole picture of timing of the special. He might announce the schedule immediately, or he might leave it to his successor.
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