New York delegation's breakfast in Clearwater kicked off day three of the Republican National Convention. House Speaker John Boehner spoke at the event, urging Republicans not to give up the fight just because they live in a Democrat dominated state. Capital Tonight's Nick Reisman has more.
CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Republicans are confident they can keep power in the House of Representatives and possibly expand their majority thanks to true Democratic blue New York State.
House Speaker John Boehner told a joint breakfast of the New York and Puerto Rico GOP delegations that he's counting on the state to come through this fall.
“In addition to the four or five incumbents who are running for re-election, we've got four more candidates, whether it's up in Buffalo, up in the North Country, or in the Rochester area or out on the east end of Long Island, we've got candidates who can win,” Boehner said.
Boehner has a vested interest in the state. He spent three days in New York, holding fundraisers for candidates Matt Doheny and Maggie Brooks and incumbent Congresswoman Ann Marie Buerkle. It's part of a larger strategy from Boehner's team to ensure a strong finish come November.
“The minute Congress went into recess, he made a bee-line for New York State. We campaigned in four Congressional districts with him. This is a Congressional campaign that we have not seen before in New York State with a get out of the vote operation funded in large part by the Boehner trust,” said New York State Republican Chairman Ed Cox.
The Boehner speech also provided a boost of confidence to the GOP delegation from New York, which does not have a speaker featured at the convention. The delegation was assigned a hotel 25 miles away from the center of activity in Tampa.
“I think what he pointed out and what I've been saying all along, we've got five seats in New York and I think this round we can pick up at least three more. So to maintain the House of Representatives, New York is one of the battleground states,” New York Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelo said.
Former Governor George Pataki predicted an even bigger victory.
“We have probably ten Houses races in New York some of which we currently hold and want to continue to hold and at least four that a Democrat holds that we believe we can win. The House races in New York are going to be very important for the continued majority,” Pataki said.
New York's battleground status for the House comes after a federal judge drew the congressional boundaries during this year's redistricting process, taking it out of state lawmakers' hands.