Two of the region's most hotly contested political races have taken to the airwaves with their first television commercials.
Matt Doheny is a Republican, and Dan Maffei is a Democrat, but they are both running in rematches against incumbent members of Congress, and they both just released the first television ads of their respective races.
The commercials are biographical, telling viewers a bit about each candidate's personal history. But the candidates are not brand-new to voters.
Doheny is running against Democrat Bill Owens for the second time in the North Country. Though due to redistricting, the geographical area they are running in is slightly different.
Maffei is a former Congressman who lost to Republican Ann Marie Buerkle two years ago and is running against her again in the Syracuse area. Their district has changed slightly as well.
National political observers say both races are among the closest Congressional contests in the country. And fundraising is high for both, which helps to pay for television ads.
The National Republican Congressional Committee has pledged to run commercials for Buerkle, beginning after Labor Day. Owens told WRVO News Tuesday that he would announce his ads at the appropriate time. That turned out to be Wednesday, when he e-mailed his first commercial to supporters and members of the media.