By Brian Tumulty
WASHINGTON -- A well-financed political action committee dedicated to electing Democrats has named New York's 23rd Congressional District seat held by Republican Rep. Tom Reed of Corning as one of its top targets.
House Majority PAC announced Monday it has reserved $241,945 in television and cable airtime in Elmira and Buffalo this fall for campaign ads in the sprawling district that encompasses 11 counties and parts of Tioga and Ontario counties in the Southern Tier and parts of the Finger Lakes.
“House Majority PAC continues to make smart, strategic investments to ensure Democrats are well-positioned to flip as many seats as possible in November,” House Majority PAC Executive Director Alixandria Lapp said in a statement.
Reed's campaign spokeswoman Amy Hasenberg said "the DC establishment targeted" Reed with more than twice as much money in 2014 and failed to defeat him.
"It's no surprise that Nancy Pelosi's PAC is trying to save DC John Plumb's failing campaign,'' Hasenberg said, referring to Democratic challenger John Plumb. "Voters will see through Washington trying to tell them what to think and do."
All told, the PAC has reserved $24 million in TV and cable ads for 28 races around the nation.
The New York 23rd District ads would run the week before the Nov. 8 election.
The plans presumably can be withdrawn if the race fizzles, as did the 2014 campaign by Democratic challenger Martha Robertson of Dryden. In 2014, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee withdrew advertising plans in the 23rd District in order to concentrate on incumbent Democrats who were in danger of losing.
Democrats lost three House seats in New York in 2014.
This presidential election cycle, however, offers Democrats an opportunity to regain some of the nine New York House seats currently held by Republicans.
Plumb, Reed's opponent this cycle, is a Navy reserve officer from Lakewood in the the Jamestown area.
House Majority PAC said it has reserved $56,830 for TV and cable ads in the Elmira market and $185,125 in the Buffalo market.
In addition, the PAC has reserved $544,712 in cable and TV ads in the New York City metro area as part of an effort to unseat freshman Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin on eastern Long Island. It has reserved $371,621 in the Syracuse market in a bid to unseat freshman Republican Rep. John Katko of Camillus.
From Elmira Star-Gazette on July 11, 2016.