24th Congressional District

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Democratic incumbent Dan Maffei and his Republican challenger John Katko are locked into a tight race that will determine who represents the Syracuse-area's 24th Congressional District in Congress.

Maffei says he knew the race would be close.

Gino Geruntino / WRVO

Both candidates running to represent the 24th Congressional District want to prevent heroin and synthetic drug use in New York, but have different ways of doing it.

Republican candidate John Katko says he has a twofold approach to address the issue.

"It's targeted enforcement, beefed up targeted enforcement about the heroin and synthetic drug problem, through the enhancement of task forces," Katko said. "So that's basically what this plan is about."

Katko proposes to increase law enforcement funding and manpower, and expand treatment options.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

Oswego Common Council Vice President Eric Van Buren has switched parties, and is endorsing Republican congressional candidate John Katko in his race against incumbent Democrat Rep. Dan Maffei.

Van Buren, the former Oswego City Democratic Committee chairman, released a statement Wednesday morning saying he made the decision after much thought and consideration.

Katko says he's happy to receive Van Buren's support, and that it's a sign of ongoing change in the region.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

Republican congressional hopeful John Katko is criticizing Democratic incumbent Rep. Dan Maffei’s legislative record from his two terms in Congress as part of the latest salvo in a race that is getting tighter, according to some national political pundits.

During a news conference this week, Katko, a former prosecutor, pointed to a list of legislation Maffei has introduced in the 113th Congress.

Maffei continues attacks on opponent John Katko

Oct 2, 2014
Ryan Delaney/WRVO and Katko for Congress

Rep. Dan Maffei is again hitting his opponent Republican John Katko for things that happened when Katko was a federal prosecutor.

Maffei, a Democrat from Syracuse, says while Katko worked for the Justice Department, he let former Oswego mayor John Gosek off easy because he was a fellow Republican.

Gosek was arrested by the FBI in 2005 for soliciting sex from underage girls. In a plea deal, he served 33 months in prison, below the mandatory minimum for the crime, and was listed as a sex offender.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

With five weeks until election day, Rep. Dan Maffei’s reelection campaign is embarking on a campaign strategy called “30 Days and 30 Ways John Katko is Too Reckless and Radical for Central New York.”

Maffei, a Democrat, is running for his third term in Congress, and says the idea is to outline differences between him, and Republican nominee John Katko. Week one focuses on the candidate’s jobs agenda.  Maffei says he has a record and accuses Katko of having nothing but a one-page jobs document.

Talk Radio News Service / via Flickr

The nation's most powerful Republican will be in central New York this evening to campaign for the man challenging Democratic Rep. Dan Maffei.

It could be a welcomed boost for John Katko, who needs to make up ground against Maffei with just over six weeks before Election Day.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

The 24th Congressional District race between Democrat Dan Maffei and Republican John Katko is very competitive according to the first public poll of this race released yesterday.  

The Syracuse.com/Post-Standard/Sienna College poll gives the incumbent Maffei an eight-point edge over his Republican challenger, former federal prosecutor John Katko. The poll shows that Maffei has a bigger edge with Democrats than Katko has with Republicans, but that Katko has a seven-point lead with independents.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

The images coming from Ferguson, Missouri, of police in riot gear facing protesters has some in Congress calling for changes to the way local police agencies are able to use cast off military equipment from the Department of Defense.

The two candidates for the 24th Congressional District seat, which covers all of Onondaga, Cayuga and Wayne counties and the western half of Oswego County, have two different views of that.

Democratic Rep. Dan Maffei has already voted against the program that provides surplus military equipment to law enforcement agencies.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

Republican congressional candidate John Katko says he has no regrets about legally obtaining a gun to use for protection while he was a federal prosecutor in Syracuse.

He accuses political opponents of rehashing a 14-year-old story about  the theft of that gun, and its use in a robbery that ended with the shooting death of two men in Syracuse.

“Despite all the threats I’ve been through over 20 years, I still stuck with it, and went after the worst criminals, the most violence criminals in El Paso, in Puerto Rico and here in Syracuse," Katko said.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

The issue of central New York Congressman Dan Maffei's connections to Washington, D.C. has once again come up as a campaign issue. But it's the mention of his wife and newborn daughter that has the Democrat steaming.

Maffei called a news conference Wednesday, telling reporters that Republican candidate John Katko crossed the line when mentioning the fact that Maffei’s wife works in Washington, D.C, and his baby was born in a Washington, D.C. area hospital earlier this summer

Katko wins a disputed labor endorsement

Aug 7, 2014
Ryan Delaney / WRVO

The Republican candidate for the Syracuse-area's congressional seat has won the endorsement of one labor union leader, but other area labor unions are saying they're still strongly behind the Democrat in the race.

Tim Hogan, the former president of the now dissolved Teamsters 182 says he endorsed long-time friend John Katko's effort to unseat Rep. Dan Maffei back in April, before his union chapter merged with a Teamsters chapter based in Albany.

Women for Maffei hit back on some Katko comments

Jul 23, 2014
Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Some supporters of Rep. Dan Maffei (D-Syracuse) are pushing back on recent comments made his Republican challenger, John Katko.

Katko, a former federal prosecutor, has recently said he doesn’t support a law aimed at equalizing pay for women and men. And he says his Catholic faith guides his views on abortion.

Those comments to The Post-Standard have upset female supporters of Maffei, a Democrat.

Maffei picks up endorsement of business leaders

Jul 15, 2014
Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Rep. Dan Maffei has picked up the endorsement of an informal group of central New York business and economic leaders.

About two dozen executives are backing the Syracuse Democrat in his bid for re-election against Republican John Katko.

Eric Mower, of the advertising firm Eric Mower and Associates, says he’s neither a Republican nor Democrat and he supported former Rep. Jim Walsh, a Republican.

But he says has focused on the issues facing the region.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO file photo

John Katko, the Republican candidate for the 24th Congressional District, outlined his five-point plan for veterans Wednesday.

Katko says most people don’t have a problem with the Veterans Affairs system in Syracuse, but emphasized that’s not the case nationwide. Katko said his experience as a federal prosecutor gives him the ability to hold accountable those responsible for falsifying VA records, as seen throughout the country. Katko also emphasized his willingness to reach across the aisle.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

As central New Yorkers hop in their cars to head off for the holiday weekend, the 24th Congressional District race is focusing on gas prices and energy policy.

The Republican candidate in the race, former federal prosecutor John Katko, is calling on incumbent Democrat Rep. Dan Maffei to say no to what Katko calls a growing effort in Washington to raise the federal gas tax.

He says central New Yorkers just can’t afford it.

In one of his first extended public interviews, John Katko talks with Grant Reeher on the Campbell Conversations.  Katko is the former federal prosecutor challenging Dan Maffei for the 24th Congressional district seat this fall.  In a wide-ranging discussion, Katko addresses whether he’s a moderate or a conservative, how he thinks about entitlements and taxes, Obamacare, and the level of dysfunction in the current Congress.  He also discusses the role of money in the campaign.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

One of the Democratic Party’s top women visited Syracuse to stump for Rep. Dan Maffei, who is running for re-election to Congress.

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a Florida Democrat, is chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee. She spoke a Laci’s Tapas Bar Monday, a women-owned restaurant in the city's Hawley Green neighborhood.

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner, Common Councilor Helen Hudson, and former Palmyra Mayor Vicky Daly all showered their praise as well.

Ryan Delaney/WRVO and Katko for Congress

Rep. Dan Maffei has called on his Republican challenger to sign a pledge vowing to run a "clean campaign." That challenger, John Katko, agrees with the notion, but has decided to raise Maffei's offer.

Maffei, D-Syracuse, sent the pledge to Katko this week, saying the two should reject campaign contributions from "shady" outside groups that hide their donors. They should run "an honest, straightforward campaign," Maffei wrote.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

  Former U.S. Attorney John Katko walked out of the Republican convention in Syracuse this weekend as the party designated GOP candidate in the race for central New York's 24th Congressional District. It was the culmination of months of politicking by eight candidates who wanted the chance to unseat democrat Dan Maffei.

"Cayuga, Wayne County, Oswego and Onondaga County has selected on the first round of voting to take on Dan Maffei, U.S. Attorney John Katko."

Ellen Abbott/WRVO

Former federal prosecutor John Katko has won the endorsement of the Republican Party in the race for the 24th Congressional District.  He garnered enough votes out of a field of seven candidates, to get the nomination on one ballot at a GOP convention in Syracuse Saturday.  

At least one candidate who lost the party nod, Ian Hunter, says  will begin the process of challenging Katko in a June primary.  Three others candidates haven’t ruled out that possibility.  Republicans are hoping to wrest the seat from incumbent Democrat Rep. Dan Maffei.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

The race for Congress in the Syracuse area's 24th District is heating up. Republicans in the district that includes all of Onondaga, Cayuga and Wayne counties, and part of Oswego County, will decide who gets the party nod at a convention this weekend in Syracuse. The eight Republicans who want the chance to run against incumbent Dan Maffei got to make their case in front of a roomful of conservatives Thursday night.

With Election Day only about eight months away, the Fulton Republican Committee has thrown its support behind John Katko, a 51-year-old retired federal prosecutor who plans to run against Democratic incumbent Dan Maffei to represent central New York in Congress.

The 24th District covers all of Onondaga, Wayne and Cayuga Counties, along with the western portion of Oswego County. So far, the race has already drawn support from ten candidates, who all believe they can win the seat.

In 2012, the voters in the 24th Congressional district gave Dan Maffei a second chance when they chose him to replace Ann Marie Buerkle, after she had defeated him just two years before.  Now a year in to his new term in office, Maffei sits down with host Grant Reeher to discuss unemployment benefits, economic inequality, Obamacare, Afghanistan, and whether Congress is becoming more functional.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

With former Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle out of the picture, Syracuse-area Republicans can concentrate on the search for a candidate to challenge Democratic incumbent Dan Maffei, who's expected to run for reelection in the 24th Congressional District. Buerkle announced on Wednesday that she wasn't interested in another race against Maffei, preferring to focus on her position on the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Former Republican Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle says she is not going to challenge Democrat Dan Maffei for her old seat during the upcoming 2014 election cycle. In a written statement, Buerkle said deciding not to run again for the 24th Congressional District was a difficult decision, but the right one for her at this time. She also said she plans to remain politically involved.

Maffei marks 100 days back in office by talking jobs

Apr 16, 2013
Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Central New York's congressman has marked his first 100 days back in office by laying out a blueprint for jobs and the economy.

Ellen Abbott/WRVO

Syracuse-area Rep. Dan Maffei is getting reacquainted with central New York voters. The first of a series of listening tours this week focused on business in the new 24th Congressional District.

Rep. Buerkle says serving in Congress was an honor

Jan 7, 2013
Gage Skidmore / Flickr

Last week, the Syracuse area saw returning Democrat Congressman Dan Maffei sworn-in and Republican Representative Ann Marie Buerkle leave office. WRVO's Catherine Loper spoke with Buerkle about the ups and downs of her time in Washington, D.C.

Third Way / Flickr

Members of the 113th Congress will be sworn in January 3 -- and part of the new Congress will be a familiar face returning to Washington to represent the Syracuse area in a redistricted seat.