Big fight looms between Owens-Doheny in NY-23

Looks like a barn-burner in NY-23.

The National Journal is noting that Republican challenger Matt Doheny is raising money fast in his effort to topple Democratic Rep. Bill Owens from Plattsburgh.

Matt Doheny, a Republican running in New York’s 23rd District, posted a very good initial quarter of fundraising. He raised over $300,000, which goes a long way in the Watertown and Plattsburgh media markets.

Muddying that successful picture a bit, according to the Albany Times-Union, is the fact that Doheny is still deep in debt following his unsuccessful bid for the seat a couple of years ago

The Republican hopeful still owes over $2.2 million from his last campaign for NY’s 23rd district, the North Country, in 2009…[Doheny spokesman Jude] Seymour says that the $2.2 million debt “isn’t really anything to overcome. It’s all money [Doheny] owes to himself.”

Bill Owens has yet to update his report, but according to his September 2011 filing has nearly $400,000 on hand.

Which means voters across the North Country should brace themselves for an onslaught of campaign adverts over the next eight or nine months.

Indeed, NY-23 will be one of the biggest battlegrounds in the country.  This is a district, like NY-20 which Chris Gibson won back in 2010, that the GOP thinks should be in its column.

Prior to Owens’ victory, the district had never really been held by a Democrat.

But Owens won election (and re-election) in part thanks to soaring opinion ratings for Barack Obama and a third-party challenge by Conservative Doug Hoffman.  So his climb this year could be much steeper.

One wrinkle here is that we still don’t have new redistricting lines for New York’s congressional seats.  Which means that we’re still not completely sure what the playing field will look like.

It’s even remotely conceivable that Owens and Doheny will find themselves living (and campaigning?) in different districts, though that would mean a massive shake-up.

Next developments:  Obviously, seeing LATFOR’s redistricting proposal for the North Country’s congressional representation will be key; and it will also be revealing to see Owens’ fundraising numbers.

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11 Comments on “Big fight looms between Owens-Doheny in NY-23”

  1. Pete Klein says:

    Must we really? Wouldn’t it be better if they just have a duel with pistols?

  2. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    So when are we going to see the proposed new maps?

  3. Brian Mann says:

    When I asked Bill Owens this question he said he thought it would be “weeks.” If litigation ensues, we could be left in a state of uncertainty quite late into the campaign season.

    –Brian, NCPR

  4. oa says:

    Must we use the term “adverts?” Not to criticise, but methinks foppish Brit jargon is out of favour here in the colonies.

  5. PNElba says:

    $2.2 million debt “isn’t really anything to overcome. It’s all money Doheny owes to himself.”

    Where to begin? These people really don’t have a clue. Ten thousand dollar bet? Ten thousand dollar bet?

  6. Brian Mann says:

    OA -

    Maybe I’ve been watching too much Downton Abbey. I was at a dinner party last night and I called someone a “cur.”


    –Brian, NCPR

  7. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    My word!

  8. Pete Klein says:

    Sounds like a bloody problem to me.

  9. tootightmike says:

    And depending how they finally draw those district lines, we may get to vote in Ontario.

  10. JDM says:

    Doheny and Owens are two sides of the same coin.

    Take your pick. Toss a coin.

  11. Peter Hahn says:

    JDM – their votes in congress would be very different.

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