New York: Hanna Courted for Rematch With Arcuri

Posted November 7, 2008 at 5:55pm

After a much closer-than-expected finish, Republican leaders are urging businessman Richard Hanna (R) to take another crack at Rep. Michael Arcuri (D) in 2010.

Although absentee ballots hadn’t fully been counted by press time Friday, Arcuri seemed all but certain to secure a second term with a 51 percent to 49 percent victory over Hanna.

National and local Republicans were high on Hanna when he was contemplating challenging Arcuri, but he did not get into the race until early May, and despite his personal appeal his campaign had a free-wheeling, improvisational feel. Through Oct. 15, Hanna had spent $532,000 on his campaign — $324,000 from his own pocket — while Arcuri had spent more than $1.5 million.

Republican leaders told the Utica Observer- Dispatch last week that they’d like Hanna to run again.

“Richard Hanna has contributed a great deal to his community, and if he were to decide that he wanted to make another run for public office, we would welcome his candidacy with open arms,” National Republican Congressional Committee spokesman Ken Spain said.

George Joseph, chairman of the Oneida County GOP, called Hanna “your dream candidate.”

In an interview with the paper, Arcuri said he would reach out to constituents in an effort to figure out why the race was so much closer than expected.

“Part of what I’m going to have to do is reaching out and finding out what the nature of their dissatisfaction is, and what I can do to fix it,” Arcuri said. “Is it dissatisfaction with me? Dissatisfaction with politicians in general?”

Democrats Likely to Control 2012 Redraw

In a development that could have a profound impact on the future of the Empire State Congressional delegation, Democrats on Election Day seized control of the state Senate for just the second time in 70 years.

Although there are gubernatorial and legislative elections on tap in two years, the chances of Democrats controlling all levers of state government in advance of the next round of redistricting in 2012 are pretty strong.

Democrats picked up three House seats on Tuesday and now hold a commanding 26-to-3 edge in the state’s Congressional delegation, so it is hard to imagine the GOP being cut out of power even further.

But cocky state Democrats believe they can compete everywhere, especially if the Congressional boundaries are tweaked a little. New York is expected to lose one, and possibly even two, House seats after the next Census, so full control is especially important to the Democrats.

When he was swept into office in a landslide in 2006, then-Gov. Eliot Spitzer (D) said he wanted to take partisanship out of the redistricting process. His successor, Gov. David Paterson (D), has made no such commitment.