Race for 21st Congressional District could be close
If you live in the area that's part of the new 21st Congressional District, you've probably gotten a call or seen an ad for the Bill Owens-Matt Doheny race. It's the subject of our "Fight for the House" series. Our Zack Fink has more.
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NEW YORK STATE -- It's a mostly rural district, with no one population center larger than 30,000 people. That means both candidates are covering a lot of ground this month as they make their case to represent the people of the 21st Congressional District.
Republican Matt Doheny ran here and lost in 2010.
Doheny said, "We ran two years ago, had one of the closest races in the country. We are excited to be out here every day, talking about the issues and the challenges that face us here in upstate."
The candidates have been airing many ads, although it's been Doheny who has done most of the attacking, while Owens has been more focused on presenting his background. Some Polls show Owens ahead by double digits.
Rep. Bill Owens said, "You're never confident. We understand that the only poll that matters is the one on Election Day."
Owens was first elected to this seat in 2009 special election. He ran a year later and won what was essentially a three way race, despite garnering less than 50 percent of the vote. But he became the first democrat to win a full term here in nearly 140 years.
Parts of the upstate economy have been stagnant as industry left many of these towns decades ago.
Owens brushes off charges that Democrats are more concerned with cities than they are with rural areas and small towns.
"I can tell you that this democrat's not. I've lived here for 35 years. I've been involved in economic development. I understand what it means to be on the ground doing that," Owens said.
Doheny is fighting Democratic assertions that he plans to gut social safety nets. He even brought his mother into it.
"Look, my mom's on social security and Medicare. I'm not going to touch it," Doheny said.