Nov. 29, 2015 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Big States Set to Host Hottest Contests Next Year

If Gov. David Paterson runs for re-election and is the Democratic nominee, Republicans actually have a chance of taking back the Empire State’s governorship, even if their nominee is former Rep. Rick Lazio (R).

But if state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo (D) changes course and decides to run, polls show he could coast to the nomination and into the governor’s mansion — though most Democratic insiders do not see a Paterson-Cuomo primary taking place. Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani is probably the Republicans’ best hope, but he’s only likely to run if it looks like Paterson will be the nominee.

Republicans are down to holding just three House seats in the 29-Member delegation. And they are at significant risk of losing Rep. John McHugh’s (R) 23rd district in a special election now that he has agreed to serve in the Obama administration. Prior to the 2006 elections, Republicans held nine seats.

But Republicans are trying to crawl back by targeting a handful of seats in an effort to regain relevance in the Northeast. They are hoping competitive races develop in the districts represented by Democratic Reps. Eric Massa, Michael Arcuri, John Hall and Scott Murphy, who just won the 20th district special election.

Depending on how Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s likely Democratic primary against Rep. Carolyn Maloney plays out and the Republicans’ ability to get a recruit with statewide viability, Democrats are in good position to hold both Senate seats.

Although former Gov. George Pataki (R) and Rep. Peter King (R) say they’re considering the possibility of running for Gillibrand’s seat, neither is expected to do so. Senior Sen. Charles Schumer (D) is safe.

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