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Despite Money Gap, a Tough Contest in NY 25th Congressional District
By Jason Smith
Oswego, NY – New York 25th Congressional District candidate Dan Maffei currently has an advantage in campaign cash, but the race is not over with challenger Dale Sweetland, according to Grant Reeher, professor of political science at Syracuse University's Maxwell School.
"Money is critical in running for Congress. But it's not necessarily the case that the more dollars you have, the more votes you'll get," Reeher said.
Maffei must convince central New York state voters that he's a local candidate, according to Reeher. Maffei was born in the area and went to high school there, but spent many years away, including working in Washington D.C.. "[Maffei] needs to reintroduce himself to the voters, and establish more of a local link. This is something he took some hits on last time," Reeher said.
Maffei ran for Congress in 2006, losing by a small margin to incumbent Jim Walsh.
Republican Sweetland currently trails Maffei in campaign funds. "I'm sure his campaign is concerned about the fundraising issue," Reeher said.
The campaign is not over yet, however according to Reeher.
"You wouldn't want conclude at this point that the campaign is over because the money differential is so large," he said.
In addition to the contest between Democratic Maffei and Republican Sweetland, Green-Populist candidate Howie Hawkins is running for the open Congressional seat.
Hawkins is not expected to pull a significant number of votes away from the main party candidates, but Reeher expects Hawkins to push several issues to the forefront of the campaign. All three candidates have been focusing on the economy, energy, and the war in Iraq.