Earlier this year, Rep. Maurice Hinchey announced that he will be retiring from Congress at the end of the year. This coincides with the required redistricting of New York, due to the loss of population and business as per the 2010 Census. Which makes the 2012 race for Rep. Hinchey’s seat curious and heated.
The big question is if the NY-22 Congressional district will even exist after redistricting is done. There is no question that the NY-22 is a gerrymandered district that includes specific cities and borders to increase the likelihood of a Democrat incumbency. It is one of the factors that helped to ensure that Rep. Maurice Hinchey remained undefeated for so long.
But New York must remove 2 Congressional districts. It is unconfirmed but the NY-9, formerly held by disgraced Democrat Anthony Weiner and currently held by Republican Rep. Robert Turner, is speculated to be one of the seats that will be lost. If so, Democrats must also lose a seat to maintain a balance between the losses by the political parties. The NY-22, equally based on speculation, may be that seat. The timely departure of Rep. Maurice Hinchey is a boon for Democrats as it potentially removes the difficulty in deciding who’s seat to vacate.
Still not all Democrats or Republicans are as eager to see the NY-22 disappear.
Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo of the 126th State district is considering the option of running for Rep. Hinchey’s seat. Assemblywoman Lupardo, if she runs, would be following a pattern that Rep. Hinchey himself took some 2 decades ago. In an interview with M V Consulting president Michael Vass on January 27, 2012, Assemblywoman Lupardo stated she would await the results of the redistricting before making any decisions.
More recently Dan Lamb, a top aide to Rep. Maurice Hinchey has stepped forward. Unlike Assemblywoman Lupardo, Mr. Lamb is moving ahead with his plans to run – before the final results of the redistricting are determined.
Mr. Lamb is not unknown to us. We spoke with him several times on the campaign trail as his current boss, whom Mr. Lamb refers to as a mentor, sought re-election in 2010. Notably, Mr. Lamb spoke before voters on October 8, 2010, at the Vestal Library where he defended the Stimulus and Rep. Hinchey’s support of the law.
“[Dan Lamb] stated that the Stimulus was “exactly what was needed” at the time. He also stated that supporters of his boss should be as proud as Rep. Hinchey is about his actions in support of his constituents. He later discussed the Stimulus as a success – having 1.3 – 3 million jobs created or ‘saved’.
We want to point out that Mr. Lamb later verified the source for this figure, and therefore the success of the Stimulus, come from the CBO. Which is in fact from the August 2010 report on the Stimulus. We do not dispute the range stated by the CBO, nor do we question either Mr. Lamb or Rep. Hinchey for quoting this range.”
Video of the speech by Mr. Lamb at that time can be found at Congressional candidates vie for Vestal New York voters by proxy.
In addition we are familiar with Mr. Lamb for his inaction as Michael Morosi attempted to deny our press credentials a week after the above event and his comments to us about his speech. That was an attempt to prevent us from covering the appearance by former President Bill Clinton, which we still covered from among the crowd.
Lastly, we are familiar with Mr. Lamb for his lack of response, to this very day, on a question asked of him on October 19, 2010. Given that Mr. Lamb was dutifully protecting his boss, Rep. Hinchey, we still find it odd that even 16 months later no answer has been given to a direct question from the press.
Lastly there is Ithaca lawyer and Democrat Leslie Danks Burke that is also seeking the seat being vacated by Rep. Hinchey on the Democrat side.
As for the Republicans, there are George Phillips, whose campaign we covered in the 2010 mid-term elections, and Tom Engel, a Republican and lawyer from Ulster County.
We hold no bias towards or against any potential candidate, and will provide factual information and unedited responses/interviews/coverage as always. We look forward to (re-)interviewing each of the candidates for the NY-22 Congressional district, in whatever form it may take if it continues to exist.