Editor's Note: In the final 100 days before Election Day, CNN has been profiling one race at random each day from among the nation's top 100 House races, which we've dubbed "The CNN 100." Read the full list here. Today's featured district is:
New York 19: Rep. John Hall defends his seat.
Primary: September 15, 2010
Location: Westchester county
Days until the election: 31
Republicans in New York need to pick up at least three seats in order to take back the House, according to prominent political handicappers Charlie Cook and Stuart Rothenberg.
Both agree that this race is an important part of that equation. It is a toss-up, in large part due to the fact that the challenger, Republican opthamologist Nan Hayworth has outraised incumbent Democrat Rep. John Hall. Hall, in his second term, has the honor of being the only rock musician ever elected to Congress as a Democrat. He was the guitarist for the 1970s band Orleans.
Hayworth has $562,555, mostly her money, heading into Election Day, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks candidate fundraising and expenditures. Hall can compete with Hayworth (he has $504,100 left in his coffers) but it is notable that he is trying to catch his opponent.
Hayworth has fashioned a moderate platform, particularly on social issues, including support abortion rights. She is tying her opponent to controversial policies like the stimulus plan, health-care reform and energy bills passed by the current Democratic-led Congress.
Hayworth has also pounded Hall on the proposed extension of tax cuts only for those making under $250,000, a policy which might not resonate with voters in this high-end district.
Hall, meanwhile, has painted Hayworth as elitist and out-of-touch, arguing that her reason for opposing his health-care vote, for example, stems from the fact that she profited personally from the "old health-care system" since she and her husband are both doctors.
In recent days, Hayworth scored a tactical win when she succeeded in securing another spot for her name on the election ballot. She is running as the Republican/Conservative/Independence candidate despite a court challenge from Hall, whose campaign argued that her campaign used fraudulent signatures on the petition to add her name to multiple lines on the ballot. A judge ruled that the signatures were, in fact, valid.
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