(Syracuse)- Despite visits from surrogates like Vice President Biden, Former President Bill Clinton and a ton of campaign money, U.S. Congressman Dan Maffei suffered a stunning defeat as former Prosecutor John Katko wins the race in a landslide. Katko won beating Maffei by a whopping 37,183 votes with 99 % of precincts reporting Katko 112,469 vs. Maffei’s 75,286 that’s 20% in a race that until recently polls had Maffei up by as much as 8%.
The amount of money poured into Central New York by both parties made this an ugly battle with commercial after commercial chocked full of negativity. Central New York voters rejected the tone of the campaign as much as they were dismissive of national Democratic Party efforts to paint Katko as a pending danger. It was already an uphill race as voter turnout during a non-presidential election year is traditionally low. Less than 50% of Onondaga County residents turned up at the polls.
How did Katko Win?
Katko ran a campaign that struck a chord in the minds of Central New York Voters. He engaged in meeting diverse groups and individuals as he campaigned. The candidate even hitting spots like Syracuse Pioneer Homes and Central Village, areas democrats have taken for granted and didn’t show a presence. Speaking with a Democratic Party grass roots organizer before the election “Katko has been in the ‘hood we haven’t seen Maffei.” It was clear from his tone that he was not going to be getting the vote out for the incumbent Congressman. Usually his operations are humming with activity at this time of year, but not this now. There was a lack of excitement and interest from the African-American community.
Katko starting from behind developed a list of what he would do as a Congressman representing the area. It was direct and simple run from the national playbook, run against the Obama agenda. President Obama may have won the City of Syracuse but the 24th Congressional District is large including parts of Wayne County. Republicans and Independents went solidly for Katko.
Katko also did something different; he listened to constituents, held meetings around the entire district and mounted a campaign that conveyed a sense of calm and competence. While Maffei’s regular commercials were warm and fuzzy however, the attack ads financed by outside groups painting Katko as an “extremist” didn’t work in fact these ads
In the meantime the outside group sponsored ads appeared and the early lead enjoyed by Maffei quickly melted. Central New York voters have never experienced such an avalanche of negative advertisements on their televisions. As these ads hit Central New York airwaves and cable it was perceived by voters as too much, over the top causing people to resent the campaign and the incumbent. The negative ads boomeranged causing people to either stay at home or vote for the challenger in droves. Coupled with the tone of the race voters went the voting booth and demanded change.
Katko tapped into the anger shared by many that the economy may be improving but not for the average Central New York resident. That Washington is broken and the only way to fix it is to go with the agenda set forth by Mr. Katko. Now the election is over we’ll have to wait and see how Mr. Katko manages his new job as U.S. Congressman representing the 24th Congressional District.
National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Greg Walden released the following statement today on John Katko’s victory in New York’s 24th Congressional District:
“John Katko has spent his life giving back to his community and tonight he will continue to serve in Congress. I cannot wait to serve with John, and the voters of the 24th Congressional District should be proud they sent such a proven fighter to serve them in Washington.”
It was a forgone conclusion that Andrew Cuomo was going to cruse to re-election the question was by how much? Cuomo bested challenger Rob Astorino 54% versus 41%. The evenings surprise was Howie Hawkins receiving 5% of the vote statewide ensuring the Green Party’s line on future New York State Ballots. This is the 22nd time Hawkins has won and it’s clear that the Green Party has an agenda; their concept is not to be an appendage of either political party. The Green Party is steadfast, unapologetically progressive championing positions that have been dismissed by major political parties.
New York State Assembly 128th
John Sharon (R-C-I) mounted an aggressive campaign against incumbent Sam Roberts who sailed into his 3rd term as the 128th District Assemblyman. Issues included constituent services, economic development and legislative agenda items that the republican candidate presented during his campaign. However, it wasn’t enough and Roberts won 56.5% versus 43.5% for challenger John Sharon.
New York State
|Candidate||CNY total||CNY pct.||NY total||NY pct.|
|✔ Andrew M. Cuomo (D-WF-I-WE)||90,968||47.6%||1,918,644||54.0%|
|Rob Astorino (R-C-SCC)||84,966||44.4%||1,442,392||40.6%|
|Howie Hawkins (G)||14,450||7.6%||173,510||4.9%|
|Michael McDermott (L)||723||0.4%||15,582||0.4%|
|Steven Cohn (S)||168||0.1%||4,547||0.1%|
24th Congressional District
(includes Onondaga, Cayuga, Wayne, part of Oswego)
|Daniel B. Maffei (D-WF)||6,960||55,268||6,057||7,001||75,286||40.1%|
|✔ John M. Katko (R-C-I)||12,177||73,317||10,832||16,143||112,469||59.9%|
(includes part of Onondaga)
|✔ Sam Roberts (D-WF)||18,342||56.5%|
|John Sharon (R-C-I)||14,106||43.5%|
|Toby Shelley (D)||58,829||46.9%|
|✔ Gene Conway (R-C-I)||66,569||53.1%|