There are still a number of candidates vying for the Democratic nomination to take on Nan Hayworth in NY-19, but the campaign arm of House Democrats are already touting the campaign of one contender.
In an email sent out to supporters today touting what they say are 60 strong challengers to incumbent Republicans that could help Democrats retake Congress, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee lists Rich Becker, a Westchester County lawmaker and a cardiologist, as the apparent candidate of their choice:
NY-19: Richard Becker (v. Representative Hayworth)
“Town of Cortlandt councilman Richard Becker announced his candidacy against Representative Nan Hayworth in an exclusive interview with The Daily Cortlandt. The democratic councilman will run against freshman Republican Hayworth for her seat in the House of Representatives for the 19th District of New York. […] Becker said Hayworth has cast “a string of votes” that put “political ideology ahead of jobs.” Hayworth is also a medical doctor. But, Becker said as a doctor, “I can tell you the medicine Nan’s been dispensing in Washington has been bad for local job creation, bad for our local economy, and bad for Hudson Valley seniors.” If he runs and is elected, Becker said he intends to be “an independent congressman who puts Hudson Valley jobs before Washington’s ideological wars and ensures the continued success of Medicare for our seniors.” [The Daily Cortlandt, 9/3/11; Midhudson News, 6/27/11]
It will be a tough race for Mr. Becker or for whomever grabs the Democratic nomination. As Liz noted earlier this week, Ms. Hayworth has close to $900,000 on hand, and unless, State Senator Greg Ball reverses course and mounts a primary challenge, can save it all for the general election.
Pointedly not on the DCCC’s list are any challengers for the two seats in the five boroughs now held by Republicans–Michael Grimm in Staten Island and Brooklyn and Bob Turner in Queens and Brooklyn. In the former case, this speaks to how everything is pretty much on hold for Democrats until former Congressman Mike McMahon decides if he is going to mount a challenge to Michael Grimm. In the latter case, the fact that it is a special election–and that the seat may not exist by the time 2012 rolls around–have conspired to keep anyone from declaring their candidacy.
UPDATE: DCCC spox Josh Schwerin writes to say that the group isn’t picking candidates but rather highlighting candidates in races they think Democrats can win:
“The DCCC is highlighting candidates across the country who have officially announced their candidacies. Congresswoman Nan Hayworth has taken radical positions that are out of step with her district, this has energized Democrats across the 19th District and will ensure a strong Democratic challenger next year. “