Down to the wire in the 24th Congressional District race
It's coming down to the wire in one of the country's hottest races for Congress. The battle is a rematch between Republican incumbent Ann Marie Buerkle and democrat Dan Maffei in the 24th Congressional District. YNN's Bill Carey says the democrat, hoping to make a comeback to Congress, is leaving no stone unturned in the hunt for votes.
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AUBURN, N.Y. -- A week before Election Day and democrat Dan Maffei has crossed into what might be seen as enemy territory: Auburn. The hometown of republican Congresswoman Ann Marie Buerkle, the woman who unseated him in a close election in 2010.
But Maffei sees it as an area of opportunity, even if the stop is limited to meeting with a small group at a Rotary luncheon. Any voter he convinces at this session could be important.
Maffei said, “It does feel like a close race. It feels like every vote's going to count. That's the way the district is. It's the way the district has been.”
For most people living in the new 24th Congressional District, this has been the contest they've watched. A battle in the airwaves. Political commercial after political commercial. Attack and counterattack.
In the end, an estimated $7 million in political advertising. Maffei says that is a strong argument for campaign financing reform.
“There's way too much money in politics and whether it's coming in for Ann Marie Buerkle or for me or for some other candidate, that doesn't make it right. We need to get rid of the money in politics,” Maffei said.
Maffei is facing one hurdle in 2012 that he did not confront in 2010's race against Buerkle. The Green party has its own candidate on the ballot: Ursula Rozum. Polling shows her drawing at least seven percent of the vote, something that could hurt the democrat's chances.
Maffei refuses to even mention Rozum's name, let alone acknowledge the third party effort. His focus, he says, is on the incumbent.
“It's going to be either me or Buerkle who wins the race. And so, I just haven't been thinking about, you know, analyzing, sort of, the effects of a particular aspect of the race,” Maffei said.
Maffei will spend much of the next week at events like this one, working to convince one voter at a time to grant him another try in Washington. As he says, every vote will count.