Friday, May 09, 2008

Special Election coming in NY-13?

WE'VE MOVED! Democratic Convention Watch is now at

There may be another vacancy soon in Congress:

Several top New York Republicans said that Congressman Vito Fossella's resignation will come very soon.

There was political concern about how best to preserve the seat for the Republicans -- questions about immediate resignation versus finishing out his term and retiring -- but the calculation is there's nothing to be gained from Fossella sticking around. While Staten Island Republicans believe Fossella could at least serve out his term (the rest of the year) national Republicans want him gone. Now.
If Fossella resigns before July 1, Gov. David Paterson has the option of calling that special election. There are no time parameters on making the declaration, but once Paterson calls for a special election it has to be run in 30 to 40 days. But a more likely scenario, according to one Democratic consultant, is that Paterson would not declare a special election since the general election would come such a short time after the special election. -
The article points out that the Democrats might have a better chance at picking up an open seat in November than a low-turnout election in late summer, so it's very unclear if a Special Election will be held before the convention. But hey, can't a blogger dream of 798 superdelegates?


Mike in Maryland said...

Trying to find the source, but if Fossella resigns on or before July 1, a special election has to be called. If after July 1, the seat will remain vacant until the GE.

Also, if I remember the dates correctly, filing dates for the primary won't open until after July 1, even if he resigns next week, and close about July 14. The special election would occur on September 9, too late for a Dem SD for the Denver Convention.


Matt said...


Swing State Project says the Gov has the option of calling for a Special Election is the seat is open before July 1 - but not required. And they say there's no primary for the special election.

Mike in Maryland said...

OK, found the information.

From CQ Politics (TinyURL:

"If he were to resign on or before July 1, New York Gov. David A. Paterson would issue a call for a special election to fill the remainder of his term. If Fossella resigned after July 1 the seat would remain vacant until the November election.

"Much of the rest of the election calendar would remain the same — the candidate filing deadline for the primary is July 10 and the primary is Sept. 9."

I read that as a double election on Sep. 9 - one a special election for the remainder of the term, one the regular primary. I could be reading much into the paragraph, though, and the special election could be called for a different date.


tmess2 said...

That sounds right. It's been a while since I have been in New York, but it would seem most likely that the Governor would want to use the regular primary day for the special election to increase the likelihood of a Democrat winning.

I'm really not sure if the RCCC can afford many more special elections (both money-wise and numbers-wise) in light of the way the rest of them have been going this spring.

Mike in Maryland said...

When you add in:

NY-25 (where Walsh is retiring, and CQ Politics rates as "No Clear Favorite");

NY-26 (where Reynolds is retiring, and CQ Politics rates only as "Leans Republican); and

NY-29 (where Kuhl is in a rematch with Massa [Kuhl only winning by 51-49 in 2006] and rated only as "Leans Republican").

It could be difficult for the GOP to hold serve in New York state this year with NY-13 in play (now changed from "Safe Republican" to "No Clear Favorite").

Even if they retain all the seats, it could be very expensive to do so. Which other GOP candidates would lose funding if the Repubs have to pour money into those four districts just to retain them?


tmess2 said...

Right now there are 44 districts that will either be open in the fall or will be held be a candidate who won a special election this cycle. Adding NY-13 would raise that to 45.

Of those 45, 6 will be Democratic open seats, 6 are seats won by Democrats in special elections, 4 are seats won by Republicans in special elections, 2 are special elections still to be held, and 27 will be Republican open seats. While about half of those Republican open seats are probably "safe," there are also several vulnerable Republican incuments like Representative Young of Alaska and Representative Graves of Missouri.

I am not sure, unless they do a lot better raising (and keeping staff from embezzling) money in the second and third quarter, how the RCCC will be able to compete in most of these districts much less those in expensive media markets. It should be a good November.