06 June, 2006

Big Night In 19th Congressional District Race

Dutchess County Democrats will hold their convention tonight in Poughkeepsie.

A key question is which of the six candidates running for the party's nomination for Congress in the 19th District will come away with Dutchess County's support.

As we've reported, the district covers all or part of five counties and so far the results have been mixed.

John Hall won in Orange County, Darren Rigger took Putnam County and Jim Martorano took the vote in northern Westchester County.

Rigger has finished in the top three at all three conventions held so far. Hall has had strong showings at two of three. Judy Aydelott, who was the biggest money-raiser as of the first-quarter reporting period, had one third-place finish, on her home turf in northern Westchester. Tonight is a "home game" for Hall, and observers believe he is likely to do well in Dutchess County.

On Thursday night, Rockland County's Democrats will meet. Only a small portion of Rockland is in the 19th district, so it will have less of an impact on the nomination.

Ben Shuldiner has not made a dent at any of the party conventions, but his campaign yesterday announced he has recieved the endorsement of the Vasser College Democrats.

The eventual winner of the Democratic nomination will face incumbent Republican Rep. Sue Kelly in November.


GOP Senate candidate KT McFarland has hired former Erie County Republican Chairman Bob Davis to chair her campaign.

McFarland vows to stay in the race even though her opponent John Spencer won the party's nod last week at the convention.

Davis, you will recall, is the former Erie County chairman who announced support for William Weld in the governor's race, then gave up the chairman's post. That led to a switch in Erie County support to John Faso, a key pre-convention development that helped propel Faso to the party nomination.


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