Feb 06, 2014 Russ Tarby Uncategorized
Congressman Dan Maffei, a Democrat, has never won a midterm election.
So the line forms on the right as no less than eight local Republicans have announced their willingness to oppose Maffei in November.
Last Tuesday, Jan. 28, the eight GOP hopefuls all appeared here at a town of Salina Republican Committee meeting at American Legion Post 188 on South Cypress Street in the village of Liverpool. Organized by Bill Tassone, chairman of the town of Salina GOP and vice-chairman of the county Republican committee, the Jan. 28 meeting drew 140 party members.
Because our 24th Congressional District includes all of Onondaga County, Tassone also invited party members from the towns of Clay, Cicero and Van Buren. “We had 140 people,” Tassone said. “I’d been hoping for at least 100, so I was very pleased with the turnout.”
While Maffei had amassed a campaign treasure chest of $1.1 million as of the end of 2013, his challengers think he’s beatable because he’s a liberal who’s closely identified with the policies of the increasingly unpopular President Barack Obama.
The Republican hopefuls who spoke here in Liverpool last week were: Syracuse economist Janet Burman, former Syracuse Common Councilor Rick Guy, Syracuse businessman Ian Hunter, former Assistant U.S. Attorney John Katko, former U.S. Army Col. John Lemondes, former Auburn school board member Jason Lesch and Randy Wolken, president of the Manufacturers Association of Central New York.
Onondaga County Republican Committee Chairman Tom Dadey, who attended the Jan. 28 meeting here, said the sheer number of candidates may make a September primary inevitable.
Others who attended the candidates’ forum included county legislators Judy Tassone, Kathy Rapp, Eric Shepard, Casey Jordan and Jim Corl Jr. Salina Town Supervisor Mark Nicotra was also there, along with Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office Chief John Balloni (pronounced Bell-LOAN). Balloni is one of two GOP candidates who are campaigning for sheriff this year now that incumbent Sheriff Kevin Walsh has announced his retirement.
The 24th Congressional District includes all of Cayuga, Onondaga and Wayne counties and the western part of Oswego County. Its largest city is Syracuse.
Dadey has characterized the race against Maffei as a priority for 2014.
Maffei has run for Congress four times, winning during presidential election years 2008 and 2014 but losing in midterm elections 2006 and 2010. He failed to unseat incumbent Republican Congressman Jim Walsh in ’06 before soundly beating Dale Sweetland in 2008. Maffei was narrowly defeated by Anne Marie Buerkle in 2010 before reclaiming his seat from her in 2012.
GOP candidates begin passing petitions March 4.
Luminescent ‘Les Mis’
Few musicals engage the mind and excite the senses as does “Les Misérables.”
Even more rarely does a community theater group expertly blend the epic story, the grand spectacle and the soaring music to deliver a seamless and sensational show. Director Korrie Taylor and producers Mark and Sandy Baker, however, have done just that with the current Baldwinsville Theatre Guild production of “Les Mis,” running through Feb. 8.
This “Les Mis” is truly luminescent.
The bright lights begin with Henry Wilson as Jean Valjean, the unjustly imprisoned French peasant who earns his release after 19 grueling years to rise to a position of power in 1830 Paris. A gifted vocalist who shifts effortlessly from a full-bodied baritone to an ascending falsetto, Wilson does much of the show’s heavy-lifting, both literally and figuratively. The entire cast of 36 performers, however, remains in harmony throughout the three-hour performance of the operetta based on Victor Hugo’s 1862 novel.
The harmonious flow of this challenging all-sung script is a testament to Korrie Taylor’s talent for casting, pacing and blocking. There is nary a misstep anywhere in this “Les Mis.”
Taylor grew up on Old Liverpool Road, but now lives in B’ville with her husband, actor Josh Taylor, and their two kids, Trent and Tatum. A few other Liverpudlians contribute to this show, including music director Abel Searor, actor Liam Fitzpatrick, ensemble member Kate Crawford, and saxophonist Kelsey Wisner.
“Les Misérables,” continues at the First Presbyterian Education Center, 64 Oswego St., in Baldwinsville, at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Feb. 6 to 8. Tickets cost $25, $20 for students; 877-8465; baldwinsvilletheatreguild.org