Some NY Democrats Not At DNC Due To Tough Campaigns
While hundreds of New York Democrats are in Charlotte to rally around President Obama, some decided to stay home, especially some Congressional candidates. Nick Reisman filed the following report for NY1.
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For nearly a generation, conventions have evolved from smoke-filled rooms to week-long parties for politicos that gives them a chance to network and make national connections.
"It's exciting," said Rep. Jerrold Nadler. "You meet fellow Democrats. You get to participate in one of the great spectacles of American politics."
But with the glitz and glamour of these events, there's also a political drawback for some House candidates and members. Many who are facing tough campaigns, including Kathy Hochul, Dan Maffei, Louise Slaughter and Kathy Hochul, chose to stay home. Longtime Harlem Rep. Charles Rangel, who is 82, has faced national scrutiny and had a narrow primary victory in June.
"Every candidate makes that decision based on their schedule and their needs," said Stephanie Miner, the mayor of Syracuse and the co-chair of the New York State Democratic Party. "As a candidate myself, I understand that. So we think they made the best decision for themselves."
But for those members who are facing relatively easy paths to victory this fall, the convention can serve as a chance to form alliances now before the new Congress is seated.
"I had the opportunity yesterday to meet candidates from all over the country, people who are expected to be successful in November from Ohio, from Hawaii, from Pennsylvania, from Texas," said Congressional Candidate Hakeem Jeffries. "Everyone has a different story but the same message as to why they were successful in their Democratic primaries."
And then there's the chance to be a booster for the party.
"I think it recharges your efforts to win the House over for the Democrats," said Rep. Paul Tonko. "I think people come here and they put their expertise to the test for the Democrats here."
Republicans faced the same issue at their convention in Tampa last week. Many of their candidates chose to keep campaigning at home rather than be seen partying it up.