Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
April 24, 2014

Posts in "N.Y.-21"

February 20, 2014

Former NRCC Chairman Endorses in Competitive New York Primary

The chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee during the 1994 Republican revolution is backing investment banker Matt Doheny in the race for New York’s 21st District.

Doheny, who launched his campaign for the open seat on Wednesday, announced the endorsement of former Rep. Bill Paxon, R-N.Y., in a release shared first with CQ Roll Call. In a statement, Paxon sought to undercut a perceived weakness — that Doheny already lost the district twice as the GOP nominee — and instead portrayed it as a strength.

“In my judgment, Bill Owens is not seeking re-election solely because of the tireless groundwork laid over the last four years by Matt Doheny,” he wrote. “Now, Matt will have the opportunity to finish the job he started in 2010 and win this seat for the GOP.” Full story

February 19, 2014

Republican Launches Third House Bid in New York

Republican Launches Third House Bid in New York

Doheny is a Republican from New York. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Investment banker Matt Doheny announced Wednesday that he will make a third run at New York’s 21st District.

Doheny, a Republican, narrowly lost to Rep. Bill Owens, D-N.Y., by 2 points last cycle. But Republicans are newly optimistic they could pick up this seat in 2014 since Owens announced his retirement last month.

“I was honored that more than 120,000 voters chose me to represent them during the last election,” Doheny said in a news release.

Full story

February 12, 2014

Democrats Endorse Documentary Filmmaker for Owens’ Seat

Democrats Endorse Documentary Filmmaker for Owens Seat

Aaron Woolf (Courtesy 21st District Democratic Committee)

A political quagmire on the Democratic bench in New York’s open 21st District has emboldened Republicans in a district that was already a GOP pick-up opportunity.

On Wednesday, local Democratic officials unanimously endorsed Aaron Woolf, a documentary filmmaker from Elizabethtown, N.Y., in the race to succeed retiring Democratic Rep. Bill Owens.

Woolf’s endorsement from the 21st District’s 12 county chairmen came after some high-profile Democrats, including former Rep. Scott Murphy, D-N.Y., declined bids for the seat.

Sheila Comar, chairwoman of the Washington County party, said in a statement that Woolf was the best candidate to continue Owens’ “work to protect our seniors and the Medicare guarantee, middle class families, and reflect the independent spirit that makes the North Country strong. Woolf is a problem solver who will take a commonsense approach and is committed to working together to find solutions that create more jobs and spur New York’s economy.”

Republicans said the thin bench of candidates to choose from indicates Democrats are not hopeful they can hold on to the upstate New York seat. Full story

January 15, 2014

Paul Ryan Endorses Candidate in Competitive New York House Race

House Budget Chairman Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin has endorsed Republican Elise Stefanik’s bid to replace retiring Rep. Bill Owens, D-N.Y., in 2014.

“My friend Elise Stefanik is running for Congress to fight for hardworking families in upstate New York. She’s got the values and the work ethic to get the job done,” Ryan said in a Wednesday release. “She’s part of a new generation of leaders who will bring fresh ideas to Washington, and she has my full support.”

Stefanik, 29, a former aide to President George W. Bush, announced her challenge to Owens in this upstate New York district over the summer. But Owens announced Tuesday that he would retire, paving the way for a much more competitive race and boosting Stefanik’s chances. Full story

January 14, 2014

Bill Owens to Retire From Congress (Updated) (Video)

Bill Owens to Retire From Congress (Updated) (Video)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 2:31 PM | Rep. Bill Owens, D-N.Y., announced Tuesday that he will retire from Congress after just two full terms.

“After careful thought and consideration, I have decided not to seek re-election for the 21st Congressional District this November,” he wrote in a news release. “It has truly been a privilege to serve, and I plan on continuing to work for a brighter future for the region.”

Owens faced a somewhat competitive race against former Bush White House staffer Elise Stefanik. Republicans view the now-open seat in upstate New York as a potential pickup opportunity in 2014. In 2012, Owens won re-election with just 50 percent.

The retirement instigated a Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call ratings change. The race, previously Democrat Favored, is now a Tossup. Last cycle, President Barack Obama carried the 21st District with 52 percent.

Stefanik is considered a rising star in New York Republican politics. She is 29-years-old and a former Bush White House official. The National Republican Congressional Committee named her as one of their “On the Radar” candidates, which means she passed an assortment of internal organizational and fundraising benchmarks.

Still, The Post-Star, a local newspaper, noted that she faces competition in the primary. The report noted that John James, who played Jeff Colby on “Dynasty” is eyeing the seat.

What will be key to any contender in this race are the local party endorsements.

“It’s a very difficult and or expensive process if you don’t have the support of the local committees,” an Empire State GOP operative said in a Tuesday phone interview with Roll Call.

One potential issue for Republicans is the state’s unique ballots, in which candidates can be listed on more than one party line. The process helped Democrats win the district in both the 2009 special, when Owens first ran, and his subsequent re-election in 2010.

In 2009, the Conservative Party’s candidate led the GOP candidate DeDe Scozzafava in fundraising and polling heading into the final week, causing Scozzafava to withdraw from the special. A year later, Owens again won a tight race as the Republican and Conservative parties’ candidates split the vote.

That same New York Republican operative noted that Stefanik is a speaker at the Conservative Party conference later this month. That source said it was a sign that Stefanik had made inroads with the Conservative Party and the hope is that if she is the nominee, she can reduce the threat of a spoiler candidate emerging from the right.

Owens marks the fifth House Democrat to announce their retirement. To see which other House members are retiring this cycle, check out Roll Call’s Casualty List.

Updated 3:20 PM | A New York Democratic consultant floated three possible contenders: former state Agriculture Commissioner Darrel Aubertine, Town of Plattsburgh Supervisor Bernie Bassett and state Assemblywoman Addie Russell.

October 16, 2013

Ring, Ring: Dems Make It Easy to Call GOP to Complain About Shutdown (Updated)

Ring, Ring: Dems Make It Easy to Call GOP to Complain About Shutdown (Updated)

Israel is the chairman of the DCCC. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 3:09 p.m. | Ring, Ring: It’s the voters.

This week, House Democrats have started a round of automated phone calls that allow recipients to connect directly to the campaign offices of their Republican opponents. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee will target 16 GOP challengers in competitive districts with the calls, according to a party source.

The political benefits of this tactic are unclear. But it has the potential to be pretty annoying.

Callers are read a negative profile of the Republican that accuses him or her of supporting the shutdown. Then the caller is given the option to be transferred to the GOP candidate’s campaign to tell their office that “the shutdown is hurting our families” and the candidate “shouldn’t be part of the problem.”

Here are the targeted GOP challengers:

Full story

August 6, 2013

Ex-Bush Aide Elise Stefanik Will Challenge Bill Owens #NY21

Former Bush administration aide Elise Stefanik will announce her bid to challenge Rep. Bill Owens, D-N.Y., on Tuesday, kicking off her quest for one of the GOP’s most elusive House seats in the Empire State.

Stefanik, who ran debate preparations for Rep. Paul D. Ryan during the 2012 campaign, recently returned to upstate New York to work on her family’s plywood business. She introduced her candidacy via an online video shared with CQ Roll Call.

“Growing up in a small business family, I learned the values of hard work and humility,” Stefanik, 29, says in the spot. “I’ve seen firsthand how insiders in Washington have forgotten to fight for average small businesses like ours on Main Street. I want to change that. ”

Full story

March 5, 2013

DCCC Announces 26 Members on Frontline Incumbent Retention Program

DCCC Announces 26 Members on Frontline Incumbent Retention Program

Israel leads the DCCC. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel named 26 of his colleagues to the Frontline program, a committee program designed to protect their most vulnerable incumbents.

“We call this program Frontline for a reason – these Members are on the vanguard of protecting and expanding the middle class,” Israel said in a written statement released Tuesday morning.

“While the 2014 campaign will be dominated by a strong offense taking on the Tea Party Republican Congress, our success begins with our Members,” added Israel, a Democrat from New York. “These battle-tested men and women have proven time and again that they can win because no one better reflects the values of their districts.”

Rep. Tim Walz, D-Minn. will spearhead the program as its chairman. He’s a Frontline alumnus as recently as the 2012 cycle.

Otherwise, the list includes several freshman members and Blue Dog Democrats:

Full story

November 4, 2012

Race Rating Changes: The Final Push

Race Rating Changes: The Final Push

Supporters of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney listen Sunday during a rally in Des Moines, Iowa. With two days before Election Day, Romney is campaigning in swing states across the country. (Emmanuel Dunando/AFP/Getty Images)

Heading into the final weekend of barnstorming before Election Day, there was a noticeable shift toward the GOP in many key House races while Democrats seem to be getting more good news than bad about the Senate map.

First, the Senate math:

Yes, it’s quite possible (even likely) that Democrats such as Sens. Sherrod Brown (Ohio) and Bob Casey (Pa.) will have closer margins on Election Day than most expect. But Democrats are likely to hold both seats, and the climb for Republicans to net the four seats they need for an outright majority (if President Barack Obama is re-elected) seems steep heading into election week.

Here’s what we know: Republicans are likely to pick up two Senate seats in Nebraska and North Dakota (although the race there remains close). Those gains are likely to be offset by Democratic pickups in Massachusetts and Maine, where an Independent is poised to win and will likely caucus with Democrats. Assuming Republicans hold their seats in Arizona and Nevada, which seems like a good bet, that’s a zero net gain, leaving the chamber’s makeup at 53 Democrats and 47 Republicans. Full story

October 16, 2012

DCCC’s Latest Round of TV Buys Includes First Spending for Louise Slaughter, Kathy Hochul

The independent expenditure arm of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee today made a new round of television ad buys in seven districts, including two New York seats where the DCCC has not previously purchased air time.

With three weeks to go before Election Day, the DCCC and the National Republican Congressional Committee have been shifting money away from races that appear less competitive and toward ones that now pop a little brighter on the committees’ radars.

According to a Democratic source with knowledge of the buys, the DCCC has placed new advertising dollars on broadcast TV in the following districts: Full story

August 1, 2012

New York: DCCC Poll Has Bill Owens Up 12 Points Over Matt Doheny

Updated, 6:25 p.m. A new poll commissioned by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee found vulnerable Rep. Bill Owens (D) ahead of Republican Matt Doheny by 12 points in a horse-race matchup.

In a head-to-head ballot test in the newly configured 21st district, Owens got 50 percent to Doheny’s 38 percent. Green Party candidate Donald Hassig pulled 4 percent, while 8 percent were undecided.

Redistricting did no favors for Owens, who won in 2010 against Doheny and a third candidate with only 48 percent of the vote. The partisan tilt of the upstate district remained about the same: tossup territory. Full story

May 10, 2012

NRCC Loads First Round of Young Guns

NRCC Loads First Round of Young Guns

Utah Congressional candidate Mia Love, who is in Washington, D.C., this week for meetings, was one of the candidates promoted to "Young Guns" status. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call)

The National Republican Congressional Committee today announced its first round of Young Guns — candidates who have reached the highest tier of the committee’s recruitment and candidate support program.

The candidates are a diverse group that includes two woman, one of whom is African-American; a man of Portuguese descent; an openly gay man and a Jewish man.

“These candidates have met a series of rigorous goals that will put them in position to win on Election Day,” NRCC Chairman Pete Sessions (Texas) said in a statement. Full story

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