by Robert Harding
A super PAC aiming to win House seats across the country has its sights on several incumbent Republicans in New York, including U.S. Rep. John Katko.
House Majority PAC, a Democratic group, released a memo Thursday outlining why they believe Katko, R-Camillus, and his fellow GOP colleagues can be beaten in November.
In the memo, House Majority PAC Executive Director Alixandria Lapp calls Katko "perhaps New York's most vulnerable House Republican."
"NY-24 swings heavily Democratic in presidential cycles," Lapp wrote. "President Obama won big here twice — by approximately 57 percent, and Katko's seat has been ranked as one of the 10 most likely to flip in the country."
Lapp also repeated what has become a top Democratic talking point — that presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump will hurt Katko in November, even though the GOP congressman has distanced himself from Trump and said the Manhattan billionaire needs to earn his vote.
House Majority PAC has already reserved more than $371,000 in airtime in the Syracuse media market. The group could secure more ad time as the election nears.
There are three Democrats seeking the party's nomination to challenge Katko in the 24th District — Colleen Deacon, Eric Kingson and Steve Williams. The primary will be held Tuesday, June 28.
The memo also breaks down other races, including the 21st Congressional District, where U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-Willsboro, is running for re-election, and the 22nd Congressional District, which is an open seat after U.S. Rep. Richard Hanna, R-Barneveld, opted not to seek re-election.
"New York's congressional Republicans find themselves increasingly imperiled in 2016," Lapp said. "The likelihood of increased presidential turnout, the toxicity of the Republican ticket and extremely flawed GOP incumbents and challengers have only strengthened Democrats' position heading into fall.
"With Democrats poised for pickups, House Majority PAC will play a significant role in helping ensure victories in House races across the Empire State."
While Democrats are gearing up for the election, Republicans are prepared to defend incumbents in these hotly contested New York races.
Chris Pack, a spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee, thinks Democrats won't be successful in their bid to unseat Katko.
"Nancy Pelosi's super PAC will suffer the same fate it suffered last cycle when it spent nearly half a million dollars against John Katko," Pack said. "Nancy Pelosi's super PAC is insulting to the intelligence of central New York voters who know that John Katko has been working in a bipartisan way to get multiple bills signed into law by President Obama."
From Auburn Citizen on May 26, 2016.