|Elections in New York State|
On November 7, 2006, New York, along with the rest of the country held elections for the United States House of Representatives. Democrats picked up 3 House seats, the 19th, the 20th, and the 24th.
In federal elections, the Empire State has consistently handed its vote to Democratic candidates. Of New York's twenty-nine congressional districts, all but ten are centered on heavily liberal and Democratic New York City and its surrounding suburbs, including Long Island and Westchester County. In addition, Democrats were also predicting easy victories in the double digits for its gubernatorial candidate, New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, and Senator Hillary Clinton. In 2002, a reapportionment was conducted and was planned as what is described as "a bipartisan incumbent protection plan". Many of the Republican-held districts were won by George W. Bush in the 2000 election while he lost statewide by a 25% margin. The primary was held on September 12, 2006. On September 11, the New York Times reported that Democrats were becoming less optimistic they could win Republican held House seats in New York this year. However, this turned out not to be the case as three districts elected Democrats over their Republican challengers, two of them incumbents. Projections regarding the senate and gubernatorial races were correct: Clinton held on to her place in the Senate with her nearest competitor trailing by more than half, and Spitzer was elected governor.
|1||Tim Bishop||Democrat||2002||Reelected||Tim Bishop (D) 62.2%|
Italo Zanzi (R) 37.8%
|2||Steve Israel||Democrat||2000||Reelected||Steve Israel (D) 70.4% |
|3||Peter King||Republican||1992||Reelected||Peter King (R) 56.0% |
David Mejias (D) 44.0%
|4||Carolyn McCarthy||Democrat||1996||Reelected||Carolyn McCarthy (D) 64.9% |
Martin Blessinger (R) 35.1%
|5||Gary Ackerman||Democrat||1983||Reelected||Gary Ackerman (D) unopposed|
|6||Gregory Meeks||Democrat||1998||Reelected||Gregory Meeks (D) unopposed|
|7||Joseph Crowley||Democrat||1998||Reelected||Joseph Crowley (D) 84.0% |
Kevin Brawley (R) 16.0%
|8||Jerrold Nadler||Democrat||1992||Reelected||Jerrold Nadler (D) 85.0% |
Eleanor Friedman (R) 13.6%
Dennis Adornato (Cons) 1.4%
|9||Anthony Weiner||Democrat||1998||Reelected||Anthony Weiner (D) unopposed|
|10||Ed Towns||Democrat||1982||Reelected||Ed Towns (D) 92.2% |
Jonathan Anderson (R) 5.9%
Ernest Johnson (Cons) 1.9%
|11||Major Owens||Democrat||1982||Retired||Yvette Clarke (D) 90.0% |
Stephen Finger (R) 7.6%
Mariana Blume (Cons) 1.4%
Ollie McClean (Freedom) 1.0%
|12||Nydia Velazquez||Democrat||1992||Reelected||Nydia Velazquez (D) 89.7% |
Allan Romaguera (R) 10.3%
|13||Vito Fossella||Republican||1997||Reelected||Vito Fossella (R) 56.8% |
Steve Harrison (D) 43.2%
|14||Carolyn Maloney||Democrat||1992||Reelected||Carolyn Maloney (D) 84.5% |
Danniel Maio (R) 15.5%
|15||Charles Rangel||Democrat||1970||Reelected||Charles Rangel (D) 94.0% |
Edward Daniels (R) 6.0%
|16||Jose Serrano||Democrat||1990||Reelected||Jose Serrano (D) 95.3% |
Ali Mohamed (R) 4.7%
|17||Eliot Engel||Democrat||1988||Reelected||Eliot Engel (D) 76.4% |
Jim Faulkner (R) 23.6%
|18||Nita Lowey||Democrat||1988||Reelected||Nita Lowey (D) 70.7% |
Richard A. Hoffman (R) 29.3%
|19||Sue Kelly||Republican||1994||Defeated||John Hall (D) 51.2%|
Sue Kelly (R) 48.8%
|20||John Sweeney||Republican||1998||Defeated||Kirsten Gillibrand (D) 53.1%|
John Sweeney (R) 46.9%
|21||Mike McNulty||Democrat||1988||Reelected||Mike McNulty (D) 78.2% |
Warren Redlich (R) 21.8%
|22||Maurice Hinchey||Democrat||1992||Reelected||Maurice Hinchey (D) unopposed|
|23||John McHugh||Republican||1992||Reelected||John McHugh (R) 63.1%|
Robert Johnson (D) 36.9%
|24||Sherwood Boehlert||Republican||1982||Retired||Mike Arcuri (D) 53.9% |
Ray Meier (R) 45.0%
Mike Sylvia (L) 1.1%
|25||Jim Walsh||Republican||1988||Reelected||Jim Walsh (R) 50.8% |
Dan Maffei (D) 49.2%
|26||Tom Reynolds||Republican||1998||Reelected||Tom Reynolds (R) 52.0% |
Jack Davis (D) 48.0%
|27||Brian Higgins||Democrat||2004||Reelected||Brian Higgins (D) 79.3% |
Michael McHale (R) 20.7%
|28||Louise Slaughter||Democrat||1986||Reelected||Louise Slaughter (D) 73.2% |
John Donnelly (R) 26.8%
|29||Randy Kuhl||Republican||2004||Reelected||Randy Kuhl (R) 51.5% |
Eric Massa (D) 48.5%
Incumbent Peter King (R) was elected for his sixth term by a healthy margin in 2004, 63% to 37%, but King is the only Republican congressman left on Long Island, where Republicans once were the majority party. Although King has broken with his party on a few key issues, he is potentially vulnerable in a district that is increasingly moderate to liberal. Nassau County Legislator Dave Mejias announced his candidacy on May 25  and was King's strongest opponent in years. An October 26 Majority-Watch poll had King leading Mejias 51% to 44% . CQPolitics rating: Republican Favored. Results: King was re-elected to another term in the House, garnering 56% of the vote.
Incumbent Major Owens (D) retired after 12 terms. In 2004 Owens was reelected with 94% of the vote in this majority African-American district in the center of Brooklyn. The Democratic primary was won by New York City Councilwoman Yvette Clarke. Little-known Republican physician Steve Finger was also running for the open seat. CQPolitics rating: Safe Democratic. Results: Yvette Clarke was a strong winner with 89% of the vote.
Since easily winning a special election in 1997, Republican incumbent Vito Fossella had long been reelected without trouble in this district, based in Staten Island and the Bay Ridge section of Brooklyn. But in 2004, his share of the vote dropped dramatically against an underfunded opponent. Lawyer and Bay Ridge community leader Steve Harrison  is the 2006 Democratic candidate. Fossella is the only Republican in New York City's Congressional delegation. CQPolitics rating: Safe Republican. Results: Fossella won with 57% of the vote.
Incumbent Sue Kelly (R) had rarely faced stiff competition since her initial election in 1994, but the Democratic primary attracted six contenders in 2006, two of whom dropped out before the primary. Former Ulster County Legislator John Hall, who was once a member of the popular rock band, Orleans, won the Democratic nomination with 49% of the vote in a multi-candidate primary. An October 26 Majority-Watch poll had him leading 49% to 47% . Several factors played into Kelly's defeat, including the extremely weak GOP showing in the senatorial and gubernatorial races, her reluctance to answer questions about the Mark Foley Page Scandal, and Hall's quirky campaign style, which included an appearance on the satirical Comedy Central program The Colbert Report. Following Hall's election, Stephen Colbert took credit for the victory and attributed it entirely to Hall's appearance on the show. Hall appeared several days later to satirically thank the host for his seat in Congress. 'Results:: Hall won with 51% of the vote.
Incumbent John E. Sweeney (R) had never really had any election troubles up until now. Sweeney, however, had had issues over a remark he made about his Democratic opponent, Kirsten Gillibrand, saying that she was "a pretty face". This rural and suburban district is among the more Republican in the Northeast. Sweeney has a politically moderate stance. An October 15–16 Majority Watch poll had Gillibrand leading Sweeney 54% to 41% . A November 2 Siena poll had Gillibrand leading Sweeney 46% to 43% . Libertarian Eric Sundwall and Liberal Party candidate Morris Guller were also challenging Sweeney. Cook Political Report rating: Toss-up. CQPolitics rating: No clear favorite. Results: Gillibrand took over from Swenney with 53% of the vote.
Incumbent Sherwood Boehlert (R) announced his retirement after twenty-four years, making this a seat of considerable focus for the Democrats in the followup to the mid-terms. Boehlert is considered a moderate Republican, and the district is considered to be a swing district. George Bush won this district by 53% in the 2004 election, but by only 3,000 votes in the 2000 presidential election. The Republican nominee is moderate state Senator Ray Meier, while the Democratic nominee is Oneida County District Attorney Mike Arcuri. Both are locally popular and proven vote-getters and the race was a toss-up. CQPolitics rating: No Clear Favorite. Cook Political Report rating: Republican Toss-Up. Results: Swings to the Democrats, with Arcuri winning 54% of the vote.
Incumbent James T. Walsh (R), ran unopposed in 2004 and while the Syracuse-based district hasn't had a Democrat represent it since 1971, John Kerry won the district in 2004 by 2.5%. Thus, Walsh had the unusual distinction of being the only Republican to win unopposed and not have George W. Bush win his district. Democrats were fielding former congressional aide Dan Maffei. An October 15–16 Majority Watch poll had Maffei leading Walsh 51% to 43%. Cook Political Report rating: Likely Republican. Results: Walsh kept the district, winning with 51% of the vote.
Incumbent Thomas M. Reynolds (R), the National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman, faced a rematch with local industrialist and Marine Veteran Jack Davis. While the district leans substantially Republican, Reynolds was held to 55% of the vote in 2004 by political neophyte Davis, who had used the intervening time to build a political base. He campaigned against Reynolds' support of free trade, which he claimed had cost the district thousands of well-paying jobs. Reynolds is one of the Republican party's premiere fund-raisers, but Davis is independently wealthy, and vowed to spend up to $2 million on his campaign. Reynolds held a small lead in the polls until the Mark Foley scandal broke at the end of September. Reynolds had some knowledge of Foley's e-mails, and his chief of staff, Kirk Fordham, formerly Foley's chief of staff, was more directly involved. A November 3 SurveyUSA poll had Reynolds leading Davis 50% to 46% with 4% undecided.. In the space of just a week CQPolitics changed their rating from Safe Republican, to Leans Republican, and then again to Leans Democratic. Results: Reynolds won a close race with 51% of the vote.
Freshman incumbent Randy Kuhl (R) was elected with 50% in a three-way race in 2004. He faced a potentially strong challenge from former U.S. Navy officer Eric Massa, a long-time friend of 2004 presidential candidate General Wesley Clark. Massa had been an extremely adept fundraiser. In March, President Bush visited the district, in part as a boost to Kuhl's re-election campaign. An October 26 Majority-Watch poll had Massa leading Kuhl 53% to 42%. . Cook Political Report rating: Lean Republican. CQPolitics rating: Leans Republican. Results: Kuhl won with 52% of the vote.