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New York - 29th District

Incumbent -- Tom Reed (R) ; Running for re-election

Safe Republican
Race Ratings Key

Updated Oct. 14, 2010

Democrats have little hope of retaining the seat that has been open since Massa's spectacular demise.

The general election matchup pits 29-year-old military veteran Matthew Zeller (D) against former Corning Mayor Tom Reed (R), who had been gearing up to run for this seat even before the Massa resignation.

National Democrats aren't expected to help Zeller, a political novice who reported just $50,000 in his campaign account at the end of August.

While there is scant public polling on the race, a Siena College survey found that Reed led by 14 points in mid-September.


District Information

District Profile from Politics in America

The 29th blankets much of the southwestern portion of New York known as the Southern Tier, encompassing a mix of forests, lakes, farms and small towns. It also reaches north to take in the western portion of the Finger Lakes region and some of Rochester's suburbs.

Agriculture helps drive the economy, mostly through farms and wineries. The Finger Lakes and surrounding parks draw thousands of visitors annually, and the Finger Lakes region is the nation's largest wine-producing area by volume outside of California.

In the north, the 29th takes in southern parts of Monroe County outside Rochester, where a plurality of the district's residents live. It wraps around the west, south and east sides of the city, taking in mostly GOP-leaning towns.

The 29th's westernmost point is Cattaraugus County, a rural area that includes Allegany State Park, St. Bonaventure University and the headquarters of kitchen cutlery maker CUTCO in Olean. To the east, Republicans hold a roughly 2-to-1 registration advantage over Democrats in Allegany, Steuben and Yates counties.

Steuben County hosts a thriving tourism industry as well as Corning, one of the better-known U.S. company towns due to its glass products and costly crystal pieces. Between Corning, which also is known for its optics industry, and Elmira, located in adjacent Chemung County, are several heavy manufacturing plants.

Republicans hold an edge over Democrats in voter registration in the district overall despite the legacy of a blue-collar workforce. Republican John McCain eked out a win here with a 50 percent majority in the 2008 presidential election. The 29th also has the lowest percentage of Hispanic residents (2 percent) in any New York district.

Major Industry

Agriculture, manufacturing, tourism


Elmira, 29,200; Brighton (unincorporated) (pt.), 26,836; Olean, 14,452


Watkins Glen International race track ("The Glen") is just south of Seneca Lake.




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