The three-way race to fill the vacant western New York seat vacated by Rep. Chris Lee (R) will get some more national attention in its closing weeks. On the day the Republican super PAC linked to Karl Rove announced it’s going up with at least $350,000 worth of TV ads on behalf of GOP candidate Jane Corwin, national Democrats pledged to kick in their own hefty sum to bolster their candidate, Kathy Hochul.
A Democratic source confirmed to TPM that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) “is placing a $250,000 media buy in NY-26.”
The dueling big-money ad buys set up a race to watch in the suburbs of Buffalo and Rochester, where the district is located. Normally a reliably Republican enclave, Democrats found a way in after Lee resigned amid scandal. Their way in came in the form of Tea Party candidate Jack Davis, a perennial candidate for the seat who last ran as a Democrat in 2008.
This year, Davis tried to run as both a Republican and Conservative, but was rebuffed and chose a Tea Party line instead. That set him up to split support with Corwin, who a recent poll showed running behind Hochul in the three-way contest.
Democrats would like to cast the race as a referendum on the House budget plan, which includes an end to Medicare as it’s currently known — a plan that voters have not seemed eager to get behind.
House Majority PAC, a Democratic super PAC considering putting money of its own in the race, told reporters earlier on Tuesday that the tight polls are a sign that even the GOP base is wary of the so-called Ryan Budget.
“House Republicans’ budget that would kill Medicare and protect tax breaks for millionaires is about as popular as a root canal even in the most Republican districts as this,” spokesperson Ryan Rudominer said in a statement.