House Speaker John Boehner came to Lake George to show support for 21st Congressional candidate Matt Doheny. Doheny is making a second attempt at ousting Bill Owens, a North Country Democrat. The fundraiser was closed to the public, but Capital Tonight's Nick Reisman breaks down the significance of the appearance.
LAKE GEORGE, N.Y. -- While the drama of the presidential campaign plays itself out in battleground states like Florida and Ohio, House Speaker John Boehner is traveling to true Democratic Blue New York in order to help GOP House challengers and incumbents in an effort to keep control of the chamber. Boehner was in Lake George on Friday on behalf of candidate Matt Doheny.
“I think it just shows how competitive, how close our race is going to be and frankly, how important it is,” Doheny said.
And the Boehner trip continues this weekend, when he'll be traveling to Cicero for Congresswoman Ann Marie Buerkle and later to Monroe County for Republican candidate Maggie Brooks. Later, he'll travel to the Hudson Valley to help Congressman Chris Gibson.
The trip comes, in part, because New York is a heavily competitive state for House seats after a federal judge took the redistricting process out of state lawmakers hands and did the work herself.
“We could pick up as many 13, or as Speaker Boehner said, we could end up with no seats here depending on what we do and how we campaign,” said State Republican Party Chairman Ed Cox.
Democratic Senator Charles Schumer, the number two lawmaker in that chamber, wouldn't criticize Boehner's swing through the state.
“Speaker Boehner is obviously cares about his candidates and not to be partisan about it any attention he brings to the Capital Region is good,” Schumer.
But control of the chamber for Republicans is in doubt from the speaker himself. In April, he said the odds of losing control to the Democrats were three to one.
“Whether it's six to one odds, two to one odds, we need to make sure the House stays in Republican hands and certainly we're going to be one of the key pickup seats across the country and I think that's why the speaker of the House of Representatives is here tonight,” Doheny said.
This is actually Doheny's second go around running for the House seat that's currently held by Democrat Bill Owens. Last time around he ran in three way race that featured Owens and Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman. Hoffman is not running this time and that makes Republicans especially confident they can pick up this seat.