Maffei says Democrats need to keep up the fight in Washington
Now that Election Day 2013 is history, political types begin looking to next year's races. Syracuse-area Rep. Dan Maffei is already campaigning, although not necessarily with his own race in mind.
As he watched winners parade up to the podium at Onondaga County Democratic Party headquarters on election night, Maffei says he was thinking less about an expected race for reelection next year, and more about last year, when he upended an incumbent tea party Republican to retake a seat he had initially won in 2008.
Maffei says he continues to speak out against the tea party faction of the Republican Party, which he says is creating the political gridlock in Washington.
"It's the real fringe of the Republican Party that they seem to control, and that's very very disappointing. So in that sense, it's a campaign, but not so much a political campaign, but a campaign to try to do whatever we can do to bring some sense back to Washington," said Maffei.
Maffei says central New Yorkers are discouraged by the partisan bickering in Washington, and that disillusionment with government is one of the reasons for low voter turnout in the 2013 elections.
Maffei has moved towards the middle politically in his second term in Washington, voting with the GOP on several key bills this year, compared to his first term, when he was a reliable Democrat vote.