Wednesday, April 1, 2009

20th Congressional District Too Close to Call
SARATOGA SPRINGS — The race in the 20th Congressional District between Republican Jim Tedisco and Democrat Scott Murphy is too close to call.

With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Murphy leads Tedisco by only 59 votes, 77,344 to 77,285.

Thousands of absentee ballots will essentially decide the race — but not until after April 13.
Each candidate emerged late Tuesday evening to give what amounted to dueling victory speeches at their campaign celebrations, seemingly caught off guard by the razor-thin margin.

Speaking to supporters just a few minutes after the final districts had reported in around 10:30 p.m., an emotional Tedisco spoke of his late father and brother "looking down on us smiling, and waiting for the final tally."

Tedisco thanked Republican National Chairman Michael Steele for his "support and guidance in this race."

"Tonight is not the end of our journey, but merely the beginning," he added.
Speaking about 30 minutes later, Murphy repeated his support for President Barack Obama's economic program, and thanked boosters such as U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, who joined him on the podium.

Murphy said he expected "to hold on to the lead we gathered today."

As of Monday, 5,907 absentee ballots were received by the state Board of Elections from about 10,000 mailed, spokesman Bob Brehm said. Absentee ballots must have been postmarked by March 30 and be received by April 7 for regular absentee ballots, or April 13 for military and overseas ballots.

With Tuesday's election results, Murphy defied expectations in coming to a draw with Tedisco. The Democrat was virtually unknown in the district two months ago, compared to Tedisco, who had statewide recognition as minority leader of the state Assembly.

Republicans have a 70,000-vote enrollment advantage in the district — 125,486 Democrats, 196,118 Republicans and 118,364 unaffiliated voters were registered to vote as of last November's election.

Over the past eight weeks, voters in the 20th Congressional District have been inundated by a deluge of television and radio ads, campaign fliers, door knockers, campaign calls and robocalls from supporters as diverse as Pat Boone and Vice President Joe Biden. There were five debates and nasty mudslinging from both sides.

Much was at stake for the Republican and Democratic parties on both the local and national level. On a local level, the race was seen as a referendum on local parties — particularly the leadership of local GOP leaders, from Saratoga GOP Chairman Jasper Nolan to State Party Chairman Joseph Mondello. The state Republican Party has seen stunning losses over the past decade — last fall, Republicans lost control of the state Senate majority and saw the number of GOP-controlled congressional seats whittled down to three in the state.

Republicans lost the 20th Congressional District in 2006, when political neophyte Kirsten Gillibrand seized the seat from John Sweeney in the largely rural, conservative district. This fall, Gillibrand beat GOP candidate Sandy Treadwell handily — 62 percent to 38 percent.

"Even in this district that was won by a Democrat by 70,000 votes just four short months ago, I am confident that Jim Tedisco will be our next congressman once all the ballots are counted," Mondello said in a statement.

In Washington, D.C., the outcome of this race will be spun to signify national trends — as a bellwether of Republican renewal or continued Democratic dominance in the voting booth, and as a referendum on President Barack Obama and his economic policies, particularly the $787 billion economic stimulus package.

In total, millions have been spent in two months on this special election — Murphy has raised around $1.6 million, while Tedisco has raised approximately $1.1 million. Both candidates loaned money into their own campaigns — Murphy loaned $250,000, while Tedisco loaned $200,000.

On a national level, Republicans outspent Democrats. The National Republican Congressional Committee has spent more than $800,000 and the Republican National Committee spent $275,000; the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has spent nearly $600,000 and the Democratic National Committee doled out $10,000.

Gov. David Paterson made a surprise visit to Murphy's gathering to thank all the Democratic

Party chairs and call Murphy "our new congressman."

"No matter how dark the circumstances, no matter how low the polls may become — if you believe, we can accomplish anything," Paterson said. "And we just did."

The governor faced significant angst from within the party by elevating Gillibrand and creating a vacancy in the overwhelmingly Republican district.


Vernon Malcolm said...

John Hanson (1715-1783) was the first president (1780-1783) of the United States under the Confederation before the Oligarchs took power with the Constitution which allowed Bush to be president and the ownership of guns. Hanson was an Oldenburg Moor, a black nobleman, and like Elijah-Moses-Enoch-Baptist-Mahdi-Elvis, went to space on a fiery alien ship and never died. Hanson has returned as Obama to end the evil Oligarchy! This is why they could never find Obama's birth certificate! Danny Lazare is right to want to change this NRA chad Oligarch Constitution which allows the angry white talk radio males to object to Obama's berth certificate! We must impeach Scalia to disable the southern oligarchs of Calhoun, Corker, & Shelby and their demented Constitution. They have this evil bill of rights with rights for hate speech, guns, lobbyist blogging, campaign bribery, states, property, bonuses, and other oligarchic thievery that needs to end! Such euphemism, like when they call you boy as if they ever intend to call you man when you "grow"! This is why we must oppose oligarch-serving superstition by supporting one-state solutions in India-Packistain, Palestain-Isreal, Turkey-Grease, Armeania-Asbyjean and Zahir-Condo. Then we can abolish greed and superstition across the globe with free psychiatric healthcare.

Anonymous said...

Is this Charles Barron?