Monday, July 31, 2006

NY Republicans on the Run

From the Rochester D & C:

Rep. Thomas Reynolds has begun running campaign ads about bringing jobs back to western New York. Rep. Randy Kuhl wants to start debates against his Democratic challenger, and Rep. James Walsh has already run three television spots.

Think Republicans in Congress are concerned about getting re-elected in November?

Even with more than three months until Election Day, GOP incumbents from the Rochester region are running aggressive campaigns amid President Bush's low approval rating, the ongoing struggles with the war on terrorism and the stagnant upstate economy.

Republicans clearly recognize the need to reach out to voters as much and as soon as possible, say political experts — even during the dog days of summer.

"Republicans want to make (the election) a local issue, the Democrats want to make it a national issue," said Spencer Meredith, a political science professor at Rochester Institute of Technology.

That philosophy has already shown itself. The ads for Walsh and Reynolds don't address hot-button national issues such as immigration, the war in Iraq or stem-cell research, but focus instead on local, personal topics. Walsh talks about his record on improving veterans' rights. Reynolds calls for lower taxes and less government regulation.

[...]

The re-election bids of Walsh and Kuhl also are deemed competitive. The Syracuse-based Walsh is running against Democrat Dan Maffei, and National Journal ranked it this month as the 39th most competitive House race in the country; Kuhl vs. Massa is ranked 47th.

Walsh, who was first elected in 1988, represents a district that runs from Webster to Syracuse; Kuhl, who was elected in 2004, represents a district that runs from Monroe County through the Southern Tier.

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