Part 6 of my exploration of vulnerable House seats is 100% Empire State! They represent the single largest group in one state of seats that are in play with a whopping 7. The fact that the Empire state is HOT with vulnerable seats in this election cycle is a gift to the Democrats. This election will certainly be a wave election for their side in this state, because in most of New York, the type of Republicans that will come out and suffer their votes for Donald Trump is much thinner than in other states. This should bode very well for the candidates running in the seven vulnerable seats at play.
A) New York's 1st seat is an open seat that has been comfortably Democratic for some time. The Democrat running for the seat is Tom Suozzi who is campaigning like a progressive Democrat. His Republican opponent is embattled in a primary dispute that the courts have ruled will require a special primary on October 6--just a month shy of the general election. So there is a possibility that Jack Martins won't end up being the Republican candidate. Which is interesting, because Martins is running like a moderate Democrat! It's an odd situation, but I give it to Suozzi and the open seat remains in the Democrat's column.
B) New York's 3rd district is an evenly split district long served by a Democrat, Tim Bishop. In 2014 during an extremely successful Republican wave election, newcomer Republican Lee Zeldin took the seat. Zeldin is a very vulnerable freshman whose background includes a law degree and 4 years of active military service. His opponent worked as an international peacekeeper and several terms in local government. They both cut clear options, and I give this seat back to the Democrats in this election with their wave.
C) New York's 19th district is another open seat with the retirement of the 3rd term Republican Representative Chris Gibson. The district leans Democratic and if they elect the Democratic winner of their primary, they will be sending to congress the member with the most interesting name in the nation, Zephyr Teachout. Teachout is an outspoken liberal Democrat and law professor at Fordham University. Her Republican opponent is John Faso a career state politician who offers a conservative agenda. In this year? Welcome to Washington Zephyr Teachout.
D) New York's 21st district is currently held by freshman Republican incumbent Elise Stefanik. Stefanik graduated Harvard with honors at age 21 and immediately joined the Bush administration working on domestic policy issues. She wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act, promote the extraction and transportation of tar sands oil deposits across the United States and is a strong advocate for support of the military. Her Democratic opponent is Army Colonel Mike Derrick. Derrick is a newcomer to politics and presents a strong and attractive opponent who can go tow to toe with Stefanik on issues of military and national defense, and who hold strong positions on environmental protection and access to Affordable graduate education. Many pundits are making assumptions about this one, but I am calling it too close to call.
E) New York's 22nd is the third open seat in flux. It's incumbent is retiring and was the first sitting Republican Congressperson to denounce Trump and pledge his support to Hillary Clinton. An act of courageous personal conviction or perhaps an ominous statement for the Republican candidate seeking to represent this district? The candidate who hopes to continue the seat in the Republican column is Claudia Tenney. Tenney is lawyer who has served in the New York state Assembly for 3 terms since 2011. Her opponent is Kim Myers. Myers is the daughter of the founder of Dick's Sporting Goods. She is running on issues around the opioid addiction crisis, jobs and farming, and constituent services. This is a very competitive district. Too close to call for now.
F) New York's 23rd is in a band of districts that have gone for one or the other parties over the years and some say it's a district in play again. The incumbent is Republican Tom Reed who is seeking his 6th term will probably get it. His Democratic opponent is John Plumb. Plumb is a young, energetic candidate who is working the district like crazy. If anyone could change the fortunes of this district, Plumb is wonderful candidate. Still, I'm leaning on incumbency and "war chest-ery" on this one. Reed wins with over 6 million in his account to support his campaign.
G) New York's 24th is a Democratic leaning district represented by a freshman Republican, John Katko who won against a corrupt Democratic politician in a Republican wave year. What a difference two years make. His opponent is Democratic candidate Colleen Deacon and she is a better fit for this district with strong opinions about some key issues like affordable college tuition, addressing issues around climate change, and rebuilding crumbling infrastructure for the 21st century. I am betting on Deacon on this one.
All toll, I feel like New York will deliver 3 additional seats to the Democrats--and maybe as many as 5...