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New York - 28th District

Incumbent -- Louise M. Slaughter (D) ; Running for re-election

Safe Democratic
Race Ratings Key
 

CQ Politics rates this race as "Safe," meaning the incumbent party is virtually certain to win the seat.

 

District Information

District Profile from Politics in America

A small strip of land along Lake Ontario connects the ends -- Buffalo and Rochester -- of the telephone-receiver-shaped 28th District. The district encompasses the northeastern portion of Buffalo, all of Niagara Falls and almost all of Rochester, giving the 28th most of the Democratic-rich voting areas in western New York. After a decade of significant population loss, particularly from Buffalo, the district is now one of the least populous in the nation ahead of decennial remapping.

Unemployment rates in Buffalo and Rochester have stayed low despite nationwide economic declines. Decades of job losses in the manufacturing sector have largely been offset by health care and service industry employment, but lower salaries have exacerbated the problems of Rochester's low-income residents.

The University of Rochester is the city's largest employer, and its optics institute is highly ranked, while the Rochester Institute of Technology has one of the nation's best imaging science departments. Despite layoffs at Eastman Kodak and Xerox, the two firms have helped drive Rochester's economy for years. Work at centers such as the Roswell Park Cancer Institute and the Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research Institute has helped transform the Buffalo region into a health care hub.

Niagara Falls attracts millions of tourists from around the world, but many of those visitors travel to the Canadian side of the border rather than the 28th's side. Local officials hope revitalization efforts and the Seneca Niagara Casino will continue to draw visitors to the U.S. shore.

Between Rochester and Buffalo, the 28th is home to rural communities that farm fruit and favor the GOP. Minorities total 39 percent of the 28th's population, giving it a far higher proportion of minority residents than any other New York district north of Westchester County. Combined with the remnants of a blue-collar workforce, minorities helped Barack Obama win 68 percent of the district's 2008 presidential vote.

Major Industry

Service, tourism, higher education, research

Cities

Rochester (pt.), 210,541; Buffalo (pt.), 108,554; Tonawanda (unincorporated), 58,144; Niagara Falls, 50,193

Notable

Women's rights activist Susan B. Anthony and abolitionist Frederick Douglass are both buried in Rochester's Mount Hope Cemetery.

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