October 6th, 2010
07:52 AM ET
12 years ago

CNN 100: GOP may take former Dem seat

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 <a href="">here. Today's featured district is:

NY 29: Rep. Eric Massa resigned amid alleged scandal, vacating his seat.
Primary: September 14, 2010
Location: Southern tier of New York
Days until the election: 27

Unless the dynamic shifts radically in this district and this race in the 27 days left before the election, New York's 29th congressional district is a sure bet for a Republican take-over come November 2. The seat is open and holding a special election on November 2, as former Democratic Rep. Eric Massa resigned in March 2010 citing a returning case of cancer and an ongoing Congressional Ethics Committee investigation into allegations of sexual harassment. On top of that, Massa's refusal to support the Obama administration's health care bill was a thorn in the side of Democrats, and didn't win him any support when the alleged ethics committee violation arose.

Further complicating the picture for the Democrats is the fact that Massa's former district is growing solidly more conservative. Not only did the district vote for Sen. John McCain in 2008 (51 percent, to 48 percent for then-candidate Barack Obama), but the Republicans nominated a candidate for the seat with deep roots in the district and high name-recognition – Corning Mayor Tom Reed. Reed has made traction with voters in the district, and he's successfully raised three times as much money as his opponent.

The Democratic candidate for the seat is Army veteran Matthew Zeller, who served for nine months in Afghanistan. Despite a message that has focused on jobs and the economy, Zeller has failed to compete with Reed's fundraising (he only had a little more than $50,000 cash on hand as of the end of August, as opposed to Reed's close to $360,000).

All signs point to this seat moving back into the Republican category.

Filed under: 2010 • CNN 100 • Eric Massa • New York
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