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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Can Congressman Paul Tonko (NY21) be defeated?

By Tim Knight
Cross-Posted at

Congressman Paul Tonko (D-2008) represents New York's 21st congressional district; a district of which New York State Democrats dominate, Public Unions control, and the chances of anyone (besides a machine backed Democrat) defeating Congressman Tonko is close to nothing. Even though the district is quite Conservative, at least by Democratic standards.

However, the upcoming congressional election could result in the closest election in this district in decades. And why not? Considering the 2008 election was the tightest race this district has ever seen in its' current boundaries (drawn up after the 2000 Census).

2008 US Congressional election - NY21

Paul Tonko (D) - 61.8%
Jim Burhmaster (R) - 35.4%
Phillip Steck (I) - 2.8%

The only reason Mr.Tonko received 61.8% of the vote in 2008 was because he use to represent several portions of his current district while serving in the New York Legislature; and was well known for visiting with his constituents on a regular basis. However, his voting record is dismal at best, and the Congressman he replaced was at least somewhat Conservative (more in line with local voters), not a committed liberal.

This leaves us with one question: Can Congressman Tonko (who is by my unforturnate luck my Congressman) be defeated?

Well, it depends.

Local Republicans would need 100% of all registered Republican and Conservative voters (who will vote this November), along with Moderate Democrats and rightward leaning Independents to support Ted Danz; the probable Republican Nominee. Plus the Liberal record of Paul Tonko would have to be everywhere: Papers, Radio, Television, Billboards, which will cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

In the end it comes down to this: Do local Republicans want to win this election in November? Or do local Republicans want to invest much needed funds towards winnable districts spanning the state and spanning the offices (state, federal, etc.). If local Republicans decide on the former; we can win, but only with a 1,000,000 dollars and 1,000 volunteers.

Paul Tonko, a devoted liberal, can be defeated in November. Such as Martha Coakley was in Massachusetts, Case and Hanabusa were in Hawaii, and Corzine is in New Jersey. However, winning requires serious sacrifice and time, and I'm not sure New York Republicans want to possibly waste funds on defeating Tonko, when retaking the state Senate is our number one priority.

We got 35.4% of the vote in 2008; now we just need 14.7% more of the vote in 2010. We can do it.


conservative generation said...

Great post! Any chance voter enthusiasm might play a factor? I think Dems will stay away from the election booth this November and if it looks like there isn't a threat, there might be a shot.

Mr. K said...

It depends on whether or not the Republican volunteers are ready to knock on some doors.

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