04 May, 2006

Will Frat Party Play a Roll In Race For NY's 20'th Congressional District?

Not quite sure how we missed this one, but the Union College student newspaper, The Concordiensis, reported last week about a late night visit to a campus frat party by Republican Rep. John Sweeney, of New York's 20th Congressional District. (In case you weren't sure, Sweeney is second from the left). The school newspaper reported that Sweeney's office said he had been in Schenectady (where Union College is located) for a wake earlier in the day.

This photo was lifted from the Web site Capitol Confidential, the Albany-Times Union's political blog. The CC's Elizabeth Benjamin writes on the blog that she got the photo and a few others via e-mail from a student who was at the party. She said her source told her the pictures were taken at about 1:00 a.m.

The student newspaper printed this comment from a Melissa Carlson, Sweeney's Deputy Chief of Staff.

"As a committed representative of the people throughout the area where he lives and works, he enjoyed the discussion he shared with the students from Union College," wrote Carlson. "(The congressman) was impressed with the energy and enthusiasm the students displayed- particularly on a Friday evening. Where better to receive feedback than on their own turf at the college itself?"

Sweeney is facing an ever-stiffening challenge from Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand, who is running against him in the 20th District.

The frat party "incident" found its way onto the Washington Post's political blog The Fix this morning. The Fix's Chris Cilliza, who keeps a close eye on the races for Congress, basically says it's too early to tell whether the story will have any effect on the race.


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