New York congressional campaigns aren't usually nail-biters, but this year, eight of the state's 27 races are considered to be competitive. In part one of his "Fight for the House" series, Washington bureau reporter Michael Scotto travels to the Hudson Valley, where two rivals are squaring off for the second time in a row.
When Sean Patrick Maloney travels around the Hudson Valley, it often appears he's trying to play the role of mayor.
For a first-term congressman attempting to build name recognition in a moderate swing district, it's a smart strategy.
When Time Warner Cable News meets up with Maloney, he checks in on one of the few bustling businesses in the rundown city of Newburgh and tries to figure out how the federal government can help the police department there fix its dilapidated headquarters.
Maloney has no choice but to criss-cross this district. He's up against Nan Hayworth. You might remember her as the woman who used to hold this seat until Maloney ousted her in 2012.
For the last 20 months, Maloney has attempted to portray himself as a problem-solving moderate who is nothing like the person he replaced.
"I'm a Bill Clinton Democrat. That's my playbook," Maloney said. "Her playbook is this Tea Party playbook of pitting one group against the other."
Maloney's office points to his work with Republicans and votes he's taken in support of GOP-sponsored bills.
Yet for all the smart politics, there have been some missteps. His wedding video, which he has since been pulled from YouTube, features footage shot from a drone, opening him up to attacks from Hayworth that he broke FAA rules.
Maloney suggested the criticism is rooted less in policy and more in trying to remind voters that he's gay.
"Think how bankrupt of ideas her campaign has to be that that her number one issue seems to be the fact that I got married," he said. "A better question would be why she still supports discrimination against people in the states where marriage is not allowed, where not everyone is equal."
For now, Maloney and his staff are trying to put that all behind them as they attempt to sell the party insider as an outsider who is trying to get things done.