It’s on. Doheny-Owens rematch will be one of country’s top races.

After nearly two years of maneuvering, name-calling, backroom finagling, map redrawing, and good old fashioned North Country politicking…it’s on.

Matt Doheny, the investment banker from Watertown, will face off against Bill Owens, the former businessman and attorney from Plattsburgh.

In 2010, this race was settled by roughly 2,000 votes and that was with Doug Hoffman still on the ballot as a Conservative alternative (even though he had formally dropped out of the contest).

In a district that has historically been a GOP stronghold, Doheny clearly has a real shot at reclaiming the NY-21 district.  “The opportunity… it’s a clear one-on-one shot,” he told the Watertown Daily Times.

But a lot has changed since 2010. Owens has established himself as a true incumbent.

He’s navigated a markedly moderate line, championing farmers and gun rights at the same time that he was embracing President Barack Obama’s stimulus plan.

On the other hand, the district has also changed significantly, with the old NY-23 shedding its central New York turf and gaining a big swath of rural country in the Glens Falls area.

In those communities, neither Doheny nor Owens is the incumbent.

It also remains to be seen whether Matt Doheny has truly unified the Republican-Conservative-Tea Party coalition that he’ll need to prevail.  The Watertown report found some simmering discomfort with his candidacy on the right.

Polling 72% to 28% against Kellie Greene in yesterday’s GOP primary is a respectable showing for Doheny, but hardly dominant – particularly against an opponent who ran an underfunded, lackluster, largely invisible campaign.

That means Doheny garnered roughly 8,577 votes to Greene’s 3,396.  Remember that in the last Doheny-Owens match-up, the Republican fell short by 2,000 votes.  That suggests there’s some work yet to be done.

(It may not help that the NRCC is still calling out Doug Hoffman, describing him in a press release issued last night as a “spoiler” for his role in the 2010 vote.)

Doheny will benefit from the fact that redistricting made NY-21 even more Republican-tilting (by party registration) than the old NY-23 district was.  He’ll also have plenty of money to spend between now and November.

The bottom line is that this promises to be one of the most competitive, and fiercely contested, races in the U.S.

It won’t have quite the melodrama of 2009 and 2010, but this will be a campaign between two well-spoken, capable politicians.  Get ready for those TV spots and those robocalls!

UPDATE:  The Owens campaign is pushing a narrative today that Doheny received far fewer votes in this primary than he did in 2010, down roughly 47%.  In St. Lawrence County, the number of Doheny votes dropped by nearly two thirds.

The Owens camp describes this as a decline in interest for Doheny.

A more likely factor: this was an under-publicized primary, with an outcome that was largely settled, unlike the Doheny-Hoffman contest two years ago.

But it is fair to note that turnout and voter enthusiasm could be a big challenge for both candidates in November.



County Doheny Votes 2010 Doheny Votes 2012 % decline Clinton 958 787 -17.85% Franklin 383 293 -23.50% Hamilton 420 268 -36.19% Jefferson 2,967 1329 -55.21% Lewis 798 356 -55.39% Madison 1,972 NA NA Oswego 3,342 NA NA St. Lawrence 2,906 1078 -62.90% Essex* 823 623 NA Fulton* 831 837 NA Part of Oneida 911 NA NA Warren NA 1015 NA Washington NA 695 NA Saratoga** NA 1048 NA Herkimer** NA 268 NA Total 16,311 8597 -47.29%

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9 Comments on “It’s on. Doheny-Owens rematch will be one of country’s top races.”

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  1. Since the mainstream media is loathe to mention this (even echoing the lie that the race will be a “one-on-one” between Doheny and Owens), readers who want to actually be informed should know there will be a third candidate on the ballot: Green Party nominee Donald Hassig of St. Lawrence County.

  2. Pete Klein says:

    On of the countries top races?
    Why? If I lived someplace else, I couldn’t care less.

  3. Bill Harris says:

    Will Bill Owens support the rule of law on Thurday and vote in the House of
    Representatives for Contempt of Atty Gen Holder ?

  4. myown says:

    Will Bill Owens vote in the House of Representatives for Contempt of Atty Gen Holder?

    Only if he has been listening to the fake outrage and Republican propaganda on FOX News and from Rep. Dingbat Issa.

    However, Fortune magazine actually did a journalist investigation of the facts and came away with a significantly different story about Fast and Furious. To say nothing of the blatent hypocrisy – it is actually Republican opposition to gun sale regulations that allows the rampant gun running to Mexico where the guns are used by drug cartels to kill border agents, Mexican police and civilians.

  5. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    The new portions of the district that Owens and Doheny will be fighting over aren’t as strongly Republican as the voter registration numbers indicate.

    Warren and Northern Saratoga and Washington counties should provide plenty of votes for Owens, if Owens decides to go there and ask for people’s votes face to face. So far Owens is a no-show, for the most part while Doheny is introducing himself to the new parts of the district.

  6. SirLeland says:

    “Will Bill Owens vote in the House of Representatives for Contempt of Atty Gen Holder?”

    Will Matt Doheney, if elected, volunteer some of his time to speak to our local school children on the dangers of boating while intoxicated?

  7. Pete Klein says:

    Botched undercover operations are always a possibility in undercover operations.
    If you want to stop botched undercover operations, you need to prohibit undercover operations. This would result in getting rid of the FBI, CIA, DEA, ATF and a host of similar operations carried on by state and local police departments.

  8. Pete Klein says:

    When you try to “sting” someone you run the risk of being “stinged.”

  9. SirLeland says:

    Imagine if the Bin Laden sting ended up being botched.

    These same politically motivated witch hunters would be contempting Leon Panettta and Robert Gates (well, “maybe” not Robert Gates).

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