The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

New York Democrat: Vote For Me in 2013 - And In 2014, Too!


Remember Eric Massa, the Democratic Congressman from New York who resigned halfway through his term, after allegations of sexual harassment and tickling staffers? He was replaced in a special election by Republican Tom Reed; Reed won reelection in 2012, 52 percent to 48 percent. (This is a district where Obama and Romney ran about even in 2012.)

Reed has one announced challenger – who has another election bid to deal with in 2013, as well:

Having announced in March her intention to run for re-election to the Tompkins County Legislature in 2013, Martha Robertson — who serves as chairperson of the Legislature — announced Thursday, April 11, she will be challenging U.S. Rep. Tom Reed, R-23rd, for his Congressional seat in 2014.

Local Republicans think they begin the race with an obvious issue to hit her with, namely, being able to balance a county legislative job, a party leadership role, and a congressional race at the same time:

To answer the question of how she will fit in time to represent the people in her legislative district of Dryden and the needs of the county as leader of the Legislature, while also running for Congress, Robertson said she does not plan to seek the county chaipersonship for a third time.

“I won’t be running for chair of the Legislature, this year will be the final time for me,” she said. “That’s a big part of the time commitment. I feel I can serve the district of Dryden very well as legislator.

“People have been asking me for a long time to run for something else and I think they’ll support me being on the county Legislature as long as possible. Sometimes you have to step up and when I found out Nathan wasn’t running, I felt someone needed to step up to challenge Tom Reed,” she added. “I’m very good at multitasking, and I think I will be able to step back by not being the chair, which should make time, and people should feel I should be able to do a good job as legislator.”

The Tompkins County Republican Party disagrees with Robertson, saying the demands of her campaign will prevent her form effectively serving as not only the chairperson of the Tompkins County Legislature, but as a legislator as well in a prepared statement issued Friday, April 12. The press release also made note of fellow Legislator Nathan Shinagawa’s run for the same office in 2012, saying that resulted in him missing sessions of the Legislature while he campaigned.

If nothing else, the announced Congressional bid complicates her bid to be reelected to the County Legislature, with voters knowing that she aspires to begin a new job in Washington starting January 2015.

Tags: Tom Reed , Martha Robertson


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