New York: Iraq War Vet Declares War on Self-Funders

Posted April 16, 2008 at 6:13pm

One day after a multimillionaire formally entered the Democratic race to replace retiring Rep. Tom Reynolds (R), another Democratic candidate who has been in the race for almost a year sent out an SOS to his supporters.

In his e-mail appeal, Iraq War veteran Jon Powers (D) tells of a local voter, Eileen McCallister, who made her first-ever political contribution to his campaign.

“While my opponents are pledging their millions, I am depending on you and people like Eileen to help us win this fight for real leadership in Washington,” Powers wrote.

That’s a not-too-subtle reference to Jack Davis, a factory owner who entered the Democratic primary earlier this week. Davis, the party’s nominee against Reynolds in 2004 and 2006, pledged to spend $3 million of his own money on the race this year.

“Some will say I am trying to buy a Congressional seat,” Davis said, according to The Buffalo News. “Not so. I am a patriot. This money is an investment in the country I love.”

Powers ended March with about $402,000 in his campaign account. Attorney Alice Kryzan also is seeking the Democratic nomination and had $207,000 in the bank as of March 31.

All three Democrats got a break when Erie County Clerk Kathy Hochul announced this week that she would not run. Hochul was seen as a formidable potential contender who would have gotten plenty of local establishment support and also was expected to attract support from EMILY’s List.

But the parade of millionaire candidates doesn’t end in the district, which takes in parts of the Buffalo and Rochester metro areas. Several wealthy Republicans also are eyeing the race.

— Josh Kurtz