SYRACUSE Two years ago, Republican newcomer Ann Marie Buerkle beat out Democratic incumbent Dan Maffei for the 25th Congressional district seat by a margin of 648 votes.
In 2012, the two will once again go head to head, but a number of factors have changed, including the shape and number of the district in which they’re running, the political makeup of that district and, to an extent, the political climate. The candidates are running in a presidential year, which will likely have an impact on voter turnout, at the very least.
One thing’s for sure: despite the fact that she’s the incumbent, Buerkle hardly has this race in the bag.
“This race is going to be a tough one to handicap beforehand,” said Dr. Grant Reeher, a professor of political science at Syracuse University. “It’s going to be a tough one to predict. My hunch is that it’s going to be a pretty competitive race.”
Murphy drops from race of newly formed NY-24
Brianne Murphy has withdrawn from the race to fill the former 25th Congressional District seat.
Murphy, an Irish lawyer who lives in Tipperary Hill, announced her run for the seat in November. She would have been squaring off against Dan Maffei, who held the same seat for two years, before losing in a bitter battle with Republican Ann Marie Buerkle. That battle lasted nearly a month after Election Day in 2010.
Maffei received support and the endorsement from the Onondaga County Democrats last week. Murphy said she received 23 percent of the party's vote.
Buerkle’s current sprawling district over four counties will morph into a Democrat-heavy seat for the November election. That district will be the 24th and will include Onondaga, Cayuga and Wayne County, and part of Oswego County.
“I think with redistricting, and the Democrats designating Dan, I think it’s important we unite our resources behind one candidate,” Murphy said.
Murphy will continue to play a role in local politics, as president of the Onondaga County Young Democrats, but is supporting Maffei for the upcoming race.
“Dan and I have a lot of commonalities, in terms of our political leaning, so I don’t take major issue with his political stances,” she said. “I think it’s most important we have a representative in Congress that we don’t have today.”
One man, Robert Paul Spencer, has declared his intent to challenge Buerkle for the Republican nod in the district. Buerkle received the GOP endorsement.