Congressional Races Here Reflect Country – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
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Congressional Races Here Reflect Country

An article in the Democrat and Chronicle on Nov. 6 focused on the Congressional races in Monroe County (Rochester and surrounding towns), including in the 29th district, where Rep. Randy Kuhl, R-Hammondsport, had not conceded the race as of the article’s writing, and districts where Republicans maintained their seats.

According to the article, Associate Professor of Political Science DeWayne Lucas saw the results of Monroe County’s congressional elections as keeping with the national trend.

“It’s not a realignment in one way or the other,” Lucas is quoted. “Republicans have done well in districts where they’ve done really well in.”

The article continued, “If Democrats don’t perform well during the next two years, now that they hold power in both houses of Congress and the White House, the voters will respond and choose Republicans, Lucas said.”

A member of the faculty since 2000, Lucas teaches courses on Introduction to American Politics, Elections and Voting, Political Parties in the United States, and The American Congress. He holds a B.A. from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and his M.A. and Ph.D. from State University at Binghamton.

The full article follows.


Democrat and Chronicle
Massa has yet to declare victory; Kuhl won’t give up in 29th Congressional District race
Jill Terreri • Staff writer • November 6, 2008

Democrat Eric Massa has been declared the winner of the 29th Congressional District race by some media outlets, but he is not declaring victory.

And his opponent, Rep. Randy Kuhl, R-Hammondsport, is not conceding.

Massa, of Corning, Steuben County, leads Kuhl by 4,414 votes, or 51 percent to 49 percent with 99 percent of the vote counted, according to The Associated Press.

About 20,000 absentee ballots have been issued, however, and they continue to be received and counted by the eight county boards of election around the district, which stretches across the Southern Tier and includes nine Monroe County towns and a portion of Ontario County.

In Monroe County, a final vote tally likely won’t be known until Nov. 14, unless a court orders otherwise, said Republican Election Commissioner Peter Quinn.

Both campaigns have asked for court orders to impound voting machines and secure all paper ballots, Quinn said. Such court orders are not unusual in very close races.

Massa’s apparent victory is one of the 19 seats Democrats picked up in the House of Representatives Tuesday. Another is in the 25th District, where Dan Maffei, a former congressional staffer, won by a 12-percentage point margin over Republican Dale Sweetland. The Syracuse-based 25th District includes Webster and portions of Irondequoit and Penfield.

Democrats were not so successful in the 26th District, where Alice Kryzan lost every county in her race against Republican Chris Lee. Lee won with a margin of 15 percentage points. The 26th includes nine towns in western Monroe County.

The outcomes of Monroe County’s congressional elections reflect a national trend, said DeWayne Lucas, associate professor of political science at Hobart and William Smith Colleges.

“It’s not a realignment in one way or the other,” Lucas said. “Republicans have done well in districts where they’ve done really well in.”

If Democrats don’t perform well during the next two years, now that they hold power in both houses of Congress and the White House, the voters will respond and choose Republicans, Lucas said.

Monroe County predicted the winner in all four of its congressional races, including in the 28th District, which stretches from Rochester to Niagara Falls and Buffalo, where Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-Fairport, won with 78 percent of the vote against Republican David Crimmen of Tonawanda, Erie County.

In the 25th District, where both candidates live in Onondaga County, Maffei, of DeWitt, won in Monroe and Onondaga counties, while Sweetland, of Fabius, won in the rural counties of Wayne and Cayuga.

The 26th District race, which includes Greece and Parma, was marked by an ongoing drama over the Working Families Party line. The matter became irrelevant because the votes cast on that line did not affect the race’s outcome. Kryzan had sought that party line, which attracts more left-leaning voters than right-leaning voters, but ultimately it bore Jon Powers’ name.

Powers received 10,854 votes, not enough to close the 37,313-vote gap between Kryzan and Lee. Powers, of Amherst, Erie County, lost in a Democratic primary to Kryzan and then moved out of state.

The Working Families Party tried to put Kryzan on their line, but a ruling from a federal appeals court decided that Powers would remain on it.

JTERRERI@DemocratandChronicle.com