by Brian Mann on November 24th, 2010
Dan Maffei, who represents New York’s 25th House district in Washington, officially bowed out of the race this week, as the ballot counting tilted against him. This from Politico.
“I make no apologies, except to my friends, supporters and staff for the fact the final outcome was not what we wanted,” Maffei said in a statement.“I congratulate Congresswoman-elect [Ann Marie] Buerkle and her supporters and family. I wish her luck in the new Republican majority.”
Burkle prevailed by just over 500 votes. Her win brings to a total of five the number of Republican House victories this year in the Empire state.
It is a remarkable accomplishment, given the fact that the GOP here was nearly extinct two years ago, and still isn’t remotely competitive in statewide contests.
If not for the tea party-Conservative-Republican feud in the 23rd district — which helped Democrat Bill Owens capture a full first term — the party’s New York revival would have been even more robust.
The revival was also part of a great year for House Republicans across the Northeast, a part of the country where their candidates had faced a kind of exile.
One question will be how these Republicans operate within a national party that has grown increasingly conservative.
Politicians like Burkle — and incoming 20th Rep. Chris Gibson — will have to balance a distinctly tea-party shaped agenda against their more purplish-moderate constituencies back home.
The New York surge also suggests that 2012 could be a far more competitive election year, with a new crop of Republican incumbents playing defense in these flip-floppy districts.
But make no mistake, those are all complexities and problems that political parties love to have. And this round of victories gives the GOP a foothold to expand into Long Island and other districts Upstate.
In the House at least, New York is back in play.