After witnessing disappointing defeats of Jim Tedisco and Doug Hoffman in 2009, Republicans have learned to be wary about their chances in special House elections in upstate New York. There’s yet another special election in this neck of the woods, in the state’s 26th congressional district, where Republican Chris Lee suddenly resigned after embarrassing shirtless photos and online flirtation became front-page news. There is a special election on May 24, in a district that currently scores R+6 in the Cook Partisan Voting Index.
Siena College surveyed the district and found:
In the special election for the 26th Congressional District seat, Republican Jane Corwin currently has a small lead, with the support of 36 percent of voters. Democrat Kathy Hochul is supported by 31 percent, and independent Jack Davis, running on the Tea Party line, has the support of 23 percent of voters, according to a Siena (College) Research Institute poll of likely 26th CD voters released today.
A Tea Party line candidate? Yet more infighting amongst conservatives?
Not quite. Jack Davis didn’t win any Tea Party nomination. Local Tea Parties loathe him. But under New York law, any third-party candidate can create their own ballot line if they collect the necessary signatures. After hiring a “petition signature-gathering firm”, Davis declared himself the “Tea Party” candidate.
Of course, for a “Tea Party” candidate, he’s got some very un-”Tea Party” actions in his past.
He’s run for Congress three times before, all as a Democrat. He endorsed Barack Obama for president in 2008, and took $5,000 from Obama’s PAC. He also took $7,000 from Charlie Rangel and his PAC. He supports late-term abortions, taxpayer funding of abortions, and the Assault Weapons Ban.
How many of those 23 percent in that district currently supporting Davis know what he really stands for? How many will end up voting for him simply because they see that he’s the “Tea Party” candidate?