continued “I focus on constituent services,” she said. “I campaigned against the health care law. I campaigned in favor of small businesses and the private sector, and I’ve stayed true to that. My record is consistent. I’m doing what I said I would do. We’re true to our word.”
Reeher said Buerkle has confronted the issue of her conservatism before.
“She has run as a conservative and won,” he said. “It’s not like she ran as a moderate and moved to the right. So she’s already confronted that. But she’s not guaranteed reelection.”
What does Buerkle have going for her?
“If you look at what the voters were saying [in 2010], the scuttlebutt is that she was effective as a campaigner in terms of relating to the people,” Reeher said.
Buerkle said her efficacy as a campaigner was one of the keys to her victory in 2010.
“We outworked my opponent,” she said. “They outspent us four to one, but we outworked them. We had a grassroots campaign with a lot of grassroots supporters. We did very well, and we’ll continue that kind of grassroots campaigning.”
She said her camp would continue to use those skills to their advantage.
“In the last year and a half that I’ve been in office, we’ve established wonderful relationships,” she said. “We’ve been able to provide excellent constituent service through that same kind of grassroots organizing and those kinds of relationships we’ve created. That’s only going to help us this time around.”
Maffei, meanwhile, said his campaign would have to work harder to ensure that people understood that Buerkle didn’t have the best interests of the people of Central New York in mind.
“It’s clear that we must communicate exactly what Ann Marie Buerkle has voted for and where we differ,” he said. “She has voted to end Medicare and replace it with a private voucher program with no of guarantee coverage, and she voted to raise taxes on workers, while protecting tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans. I think we need to lower the tax burden on the middle class, and that we need to keep Medicare strong for future generations.”