Republican Matt Doheny has made it clear for a while now that he’s itching for a rematch with Democrat Bill Owens, who edged him following a bitter and complex three-way race two that included Conservative Doug Hoffman.
But now he’s officially in the race. Here’s the statement released by Doheny’s camp:
“While my campaign may technically start today, I’ve been out listening to residents all over northern and Central New York since last November,” Doheny said.
“People continue to worry about our country’s lack of forward progress. We need good paying jobs. But President Obama and his allies continue to stifle growth by pushing an agenda that leads to higher taxes and bigger deficits. That just creates more burdens for both average Americans and for our future generations.”
Doheny, who grew up in Alexandria Bay and lives now in Watertown, will be running in a much friendlier climate this go-round. Democratic standard-bearer Barack Obama is far less popular.
And Doheny will be hoping to avoid another fratricidal battle on the right. A key question will be whether he can woo back the Hoffman-Tea Party conservatives who opposed him last time.
The former Wall Street investment banker will also face a well-bankrolled Bill Owens, who has had a chance now to establish himself and stake out fairly centrist territory.
How centrist? As recently as August, Owens — from Plattsburgh — was declining to endorse President Obama in the 2012 campaign.
Still, after seizing a Democratic stronghold in last week’s NY-9 special election to replace Anthony Weiner — and after performing strongly in much of upstate New York in 2010 — the GOP is sure to come on strong in this contest.
What do you think? Another barnburner in NY-23?