There are dozens of competitive House of Representatives races across the country, and several of those races are in the Empire State. These races could go a long way towards determining which party will be in control of the House come January.
Usually a reliable Republican stronghold, New York City's lone Republican congressional seat is jeopardy this year. Incumbent Rep. Dan Donovan, the former Staten Island district attorney is facing off a spirited challenge from Army veteran Max Rose, a Democrat running for public office for the first time. The 11th congressional district, which comprises Staten Island and a portion of southern Brooklyn, is the only New York City district that Donald Trump won in the 2016 election. As a result, Rose has had to campaign as a moderate and mostly avoids criticizing the president. How unaffiliated voters perceive the candidates' position on Trump may be a significant factor in the race. Democrats may have an enrollment advantage in the district, but voters unaffiliated with any party often swing elections, and there are more than 88,000 of them.
The candidates are also clashing over commitment to the district. Donovan has claimed Rose isn't a real Staten Islander because he has lived on Staten Island for the past two years only. Rose, meanwhile, argues Donovan's large sum of campaign contributions from political action committees (PAC) make him beholden to corporations and lobbyists, not the people of the district.
The 19th Congressional District is one of the largest in the state, stretching from the Capital Region through the Hudson Valley and into the Southern Tier. It’s currently represented by Republican Congressman John Faso, a freshman who was once minority leader in the state Assembly. Antonio Delgado won the Democratic primary in June. Candidates also appear on the Green, Working Families and Women's Equality party lines.
The race has focused on Faso's vote for the new federal tax plan, while Delgado has been criticized for lyrics in rap music he made in the past.
In the race for New York’s 22nd District, incumbent and freshman Republican Rep. Claudia Tenney faces a challenge from Democratic Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi. The pair once upon a time were colleagues in the state Assembly, having both been first elected to the state Legislature in 2011. Tenney and Brindisi have endured a particularly bruising campaign season, with both being the beneficiary of outside PAC spending big on negative television advertising. Brindisi has sought to hit Tenney for her support of the new federal tax law, while Tenney has tried to link Brindisi to former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
The 24th Congressional District is traditionally considered the Syracuse “home” district, with its past representatives all coming from the Greater Syracuse area. The district includes all of Onondaga, Cayuga and Wayne counties, plus the western half of Oswego County. Dana Balter earned the Democratic nod in the June 26 primary for the right to face off against two-term Republican incumbent John Katko. October polling had Katko with a strong lead over Balter, who Katko has tried to paint as an outsider and with a health care plan that his campaign said would raise taxes on Central New York voters. Like most of the other Democrats challenging incumbents, Balter has hit Katko for his support of the tax bill.
Democrat Nate McMurray is hoping to unseat Republican incumbent Chris Collins in New York’s 27th Congressional District. Collins is seeking his fourth term in the U.S. House of Representatives. The congressman briefly suspended his campaign in August after federal prosecutors charged him with crimes related to insider trading. Roughly six weeks later, he decided to remain on the ballot and is actively campaigning. The controversy brought increased local and national attention to the race and McMurray. Larry Piegza is also running a third-party campaign on the Reform Party line. NY-27 spans eight counties across Western New York and the Finger Lakes regions.