New York: Maffei Touts Backing From Several Democrats

Posted January 28, 2008 at 6:58pm

Moving to keep other Democrats from getting into the open-seat race in the 25th district, 2006 nominee Dan Maffei held a news conference Monday with several local elected officials and union leaders who are endorsing his candidacy.

Maffei, a former Capitol Hill aide, had been preparing for a rematch with Rep. Jim Walsh (R), who defeated him by 3,400 votes in the previous cycle. But the political world changed in the Syracuse-based district last week when Walsh announced his retirement.

Maffei still is the favorite for the Democratic nomination — the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee quickly added him to its “Red to Blue” program after Walsh announced his departure — but several potential candidates, including Syracuse Mayor Matthew Driscoll (D), continue to keep their names in circulation.

Two state assemblymen — including one who is the chairman of the Monroe County Democratic Committee — were among those endorsing Maffei at the United Auto Workers Local 624 in East Syracuse on Monday.

On the Republican side, potential candidates include Onondaga County District Attorney William Fitzpatrick, former Onondaga County Legislature Chairman Dale Sweetland, former state Assemblyman Jeff Brown, and former Syracuse City Councilman Rick Guy. Brown has said he will not run if Fitzpatrick does.

Meanwhile, former Syracuse Mayor Roy Bernardi (R), the deputy secretary at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, said over the weekend that he would not be a candidate.
— Josh Kurtz