NEW YORK (AP) – The anti-establishment, pro-Republican wave sweeping the country could unseat as many as eight House Democrats on Tuesday in reliably blue state New York.
Democratic incumbents from Long Island to Rochester were scrambling to hold onto their jobs as strong, well-funded Republican challengers promised jobs and an end to deficit spending in Washington if elected.
One seat is an almost-certain Republican pickup. Tom Reed, the former mayor of Corning, was expected to win the seat in the 29th District outside Rochester once held by Democratic Rep. Eric Massa. Massa abruptly resigned in March amid accusations he had sexually harassed male staffers.
In eastern Long Island, four-term Democratic Rep. Tim Bishop was fighting a strong challenge from Republican businessman Randy Altshuler. On Staten Island, the most Republican-leaning of New York City’s five boroughs, freshman Democratic Rep. Mike McMahon was in a close race with former FBI agent Michael Grimm. And in the lower Hudson Valley, two-term Rep. John Hall and GOP candidate Nan Hayworth were locked in a race polls say is too close to call.
Several seats in upstate New York looked to be cliffhangers, particularly two in Republican-leaning areas that Democrats won in special elections last year.
Democratic Rep. Scott Murphy and Republican Chris Gibson were battling in an Albany-area district Murphy won after Kirsten Gillibrand was appointed to the Senate. And in the Adirondack region in northern New York, Democrat Bill Owens was fighting Republican businessman Matt Doheny for a seat Owens won just one year ago in a special election to replace Republican Rep. John McHugh, whom President Obama named to be Army secretary.
Democrats currently control 27 of the state’s 29 congressional districts.
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)