Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
August 29, 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.”

Doheny faces a competitive June 24 primary with former Bush White House aide Elise Stefanik. On the Democratic side, documentary filmmaker Aaron Woolf was endorsed last week by the district’s party leaders.

Paxon compared Doheny to Newt Gingrich and retiring Rep. Frank R. Wolf, R-Va., both candidates who twice ran unsuccessfully for Congress before finally winning a seat in the House.

The former congressman is now a lobbyist at Akin Gump. He represented parts of upstate New York around Buffalo and Rochester. His old district neighbors parts of the 21st.

This is a seat to replace retiring Democratic Rep. Bill Owens. New York’s 21st District is rated a Tossup by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.

  • Devin McMusters

    Dough-hiney is not the people’s candidate. He is bought and paid for. Elise is our candidate.

  • Disgusted NewYorker

    Maybe Bill Paxon should dust off the cob webs, where has he been the last 12 months. Latest jumper into NY21 is the opportunist Matt Doheny who has not laid a finger in the tireless groundwork that has been accomplished in the inrounds in the District but has been accomplished by Elise Stefanik for the past 12 months. In fact if Matt Doheny were honest he would actually explain what his actions and involvement have been in this district for the 12 months, zero! Matt Doheny is everything that the GOP party is running from at the moment and now the Dems are just chomping at the bit since Dohney fell hook line and sinker with even the local print media begging him to enter for the dollars on advertising. War on women, wallstreet ties, videos, unpaid bills, lawsuits, was a train wreck then and it is all still here. The 11 county seats had already endorsed Elise Stefanik and Matt Doheny was never part of that process and it is insulting to think that all of their efforts to position the GOP to take this seat back is going to fail since this all has to be about Matt Doheny’s ego. Can Matt be honest about anything, really he has now found humility who believes that.

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