Republican Nan Hayworth isn’t the only former member of Congress looking to come back to the Hill. But she spent much of the cycle looking like such a long shot that she didn’t get the same attention as former Reps. Bob Dold of Illinois, Frank Guinta of New Hampshire, or even Doug Ose of California.
Up until recently, multiple GOP observers were less than enthusiastic about Hayworth’s chances of defeating Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, D-N.Y., in the 18th District. They lacked confidence in her campaign infrastructure and doubted that the former congresswoman could keep pace in fundraising. But last quarter, Hayworth infused her campaign with a $500,000 loan and narrowed the cash gap. She had $1.1 million in the bank on June 30 compared to nearly $1.8 million for Maloney. Hayworth has also made some changes to her consulting team.
While we don’t place too much stock in her primary victory for the Independence Party line (since there were fewer than 1,400 voters in the contest), the district’s fundamentals suggest a competitive contest. Barack Obama won the 19th with 52 percent in 2008 and 51 percent in 2012, so there is the possibility that this race turns into a Democratic headache if the cycle takes a turn for the worse for the congressman’s party.