Pro-Democratic group aiming to beat Rep. John Katko reserves TV ad time in Syracuse area

May 18, 2016

By Robert Harding 

An outside group which supports Democratic House candidates is planning on making a large investment in the race to unseat U.S. Rep. John Katko. 

House Majority PAC announced Tuesday that it has reserved $371,621 of fall broadcast and cable television air time in the Syracuse media market. 

Syracuse is one of several media markets included in House Majority PAC’s early TV reservations. The group secured $5.1 million worth of TV air time in 20 other markets. 

The committee said more reservations will be announced at a later date. 

“Democrats are overwhelmingly on offense in 2016,” House Majority PAC Executive Director Alixandria Lapp said. “Congressional Republicans will need to answer for the divisiveness that defines their party at every level of the ticket. Our expanding media campaign will hold House GOP candidates accountable in every corner of the country.” 

House Majority PAC has invested in the 24th Congressional District race before. 

In 2012, the group released TV ads targeting then-incumbent U.S. Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle, a Republican. Former U.S. Rep. Dan Maffei, a Democrat, went on to win the 24th District race. 

When Katko, R-Camillus, defeated Maffei in 2014, House Majority PAC was involved in the contest. 

This year, Democrats must first decide who will be the party’s nominee. There is a three-way primary for the nomination. The candidates are: Colleen Deacon, U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s former central New York regional director; Eric Kingson, a Syracuse University professor; and Steve Williams, a Syracuse-area attorney. 

The primary will be held Tuesday, June 28. The winner will face Katko in November. 

The 24th Congressional District includes all of Cayuga, Onondaga and Wayne counties, plus the western portion of Oswego County.