It’s sprint week for incumbent Democrat Bill Owens from Plattsburgh and Republican challenger Matt Doheny from Watertown. Check out our coverage of the issues, debates and events that have shaped this year’s campaign, including a piece about school lunches from our Julie Grant, and David Sommerstein’s latest debate story.
Chris Morris and I will have stories about the campaign on Friday, with Chris talking about the final days of the race and how the candidates will try to move the needle. I’ll report on Owens and Doheny’s competing claims to the mantle of being the true businessman in the race.
If you just can’t wait that long, here are some nuggets to keep you thinking.
A New Poll
Siena Research Institute will release a new poll tomorrow morning measuring the race. This follows a few days after the Doheny camp released an internal partisan survey suggesting that the Republican trails just slightly in a razor-thin contest. We’ll see what Siena’s independent survey shows.
The Watertown Daily Times has given the nod to Matt Doheny, arguing that the North Country needs new leadership to overcome economic woes. The paper lays the blame for the national recession squarely on the shoulders of the Democratic Party.
“Democrats perpetuated the economic decline of the past four years,” concludes the WDT editorial board. “The Democrat-led approach of those years has not worked, and Mr. Owens has been a part of that.”
The Glens Falls Post Star also sided with Doheny, though their endorsement was hardly ringing. “We’re not trying to be flip, but this almost came down to a coin toss,” the newspaper concluded.
“Unfortunately, that is not a good thing. After interviewing Democratic incumbent Congressman Bill Owens and Republican challenger Matt Doheny for an hour each, our editorial board was left underwhelmed and uninspired about who to endorse for Congress in the new 21st District,” argued the paper.
The Post Star settled on Doheny because his “business experience was better suited to the challenging economic environment that now faces the country and the district.”
Meanwhile, the Albany Times-Union — an important paper in the southern tier of the newly reshaped district — is siding with Owens. The T-U says that Doheny refused to take a position on the national Defense of Marriage Act, which limits Federal recognition of same-sex couples.
“It suggests a lack of an essential quality in a representative — an understanding of how government policy affects people — and a temperament ill-suited to the spirit of cooperation we desperately need in Congress,” the paper concludes.
FWIW, the T-U also backed Republican Chris Gibson this year. He used to represent a big chunk of the North Country but his district has been reshaped to include the Hudson River valley.
Still to come in NY21: Big endorsements from the Plattsburgh Press Republican and the Adirondack Daily Enterprise.
Secret Money Report
An independent campaign finance reform group called Open Secrets is reporting that a group using undisclosed donors has funneled huge amounts of cash to the North Country to support Republican Matt Doheny.
According to Open Secrets, the group Americans for Tax Reform spent roughly $834,000 attacking Democrat Bill Owens through October 25th. According to Open Secrets, Doheny has also spent roughly $750,000 of his own money to help finance his campaign.