If the Democrats are going to take back the House in this year’s mid-term elections, New York could lead the way, according to U.S. Rep. and Chair of both the House Democratic Caucus and the Queens Democratic Party Joe Crowley.
For the Democrats to recapture a majority in the House they have to flip 23 seats nationally that are now Republican held. In New York, nine of the 26 Congressional House seats are Republican. Crowley thinks all nine of the New York House seats could be in play – some more than others – meaning state Democrats alone could capture more than a third of what’s needed to bring a Democratic majority in the House.
“The next Democratic majority will be made in New York State. We have the opportunity to replace Republicans who voted for the GOP tax scam or to upend Obamacare with Democrats who support expanding access to health care and helping working men and women succeed,” said Crowley.
According to a Crowley campaign spokesperson, the Dems are using a two-fold strategy in recapturing the House.
The first is the Red to Blue Program, a highly competitive and battled-tested Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) program that arms top-tier candidates with organizational and fundraising support to aid their campaigns. This is focused on specific candidates.
In New York, this includes the DCCC supporting Democrat Max Rose in his bid to unseat either incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. Dan Donovan (11-NY) or his primary opponent, former U.S. Rep. Michael Grimm in a district that encompasses all of Staten Island and a piece of South
The Crowley campaign spokesperson said as Staten Island is a GOP stronghold, much depends on who wins the Republican primary to see how much energy is put into that race. The Democratic thinking is that if Grimm wins the Republican primary, the seat will become more winnable as Donovan has more cross-party appeal.
According to campaign finance records, Crowley has already give $5,000 to the Rose campaign.
Crowley is perhaps more focussed on the 22nd Congressional district covering five counties in Central New York race where Democrat Assemblymember Anthony Brindisi is looking to unseat Republican incumbent U.S. Rep. Claudia Tenney. In this race, Crowley has already contributed $9,500 to the Brindisi’s campaign.
Both [the 11th and 22nd Congressional Districts] are seats or candidates that the DCCC has deemed to be premier pick-up opportunities for seats currently held by Republicans that we believe are strong contenders to switch to Democrats,” said the Crowley Campaign spokesperson.
The third Red to Blue race Crowley is looking at is in Suffolk County Long Island where incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. Lee Zeldin is facing Democratic challenger Kate Browning in the 1st Congressional district. Crowley has already donated $2,500 to Browning’s campaign.
The second DCCC strategy is called the Majority Makers Program, Republican held seats in districts within the Democrats’ battle-field. “These are seats we believe are winnable, but there might not be a singular candidate there yet that the DCCC is backing,” said Crowley’s campaign spokesperson.
“Joe will, of course, support many of the majority maker candidates when the primary process is done. He’s planning to travel around New York in August and the fall to campaign on behalf of these candidates,” the spokesperson said.
The spokesperson played down the rumored talk that Crowley is in a good position to become the next Speaker of the House should the Democrats gain the majority.
“What Joe is focussed on is that Democrats can fight for the American people, and it would be a personal victory to see New York leading the way,” the spokesperson said.