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2008 United States House of Representatives elections in New York

The 2008 congressional elections in New York were held on November 4, 2008 to determine representation in the state of New York in the United States House of Representatives. New York has 29 seats in the House, apportioned according to the 2000 United States Census. Representatives are elected for two-year terms; those elected will serve in the 111th Congress from January 4, 2009 until January 3, 2011. The election coincided with the 2008 U.S. presidential election in which Democrat Barack Obama defeated Republican John McCain by a wide margin.

The districts with congressional races not forecast as "safe" for the incumbent party were New York's congressional districts 13, 19, 20, 24, 25, 26 and 29.

The Democratic Party gained three seats in New York's congressional delegation in the 2008 elections. In New York's 13th congressional district, Democrat Michael McMahon defeated Robert Straniere to win the seat vacated by Republican Rep. Vito Fossella. In New York's 25th congressional district, Democrat Dan Maffei defeated Republican Dale Sweetland to win the seat vacated by Republican Rep. Jim Walsh. In New York's 29th congressional district, Democrat Eric Massa defeated incumbent Republican Rep. Randy Kuhl.[1] Beginning in 2009, New York's congressional delegation consisted of 26 Democrats and three Republicans.


Delegation compositionEdit

2008 pre-election Seats
  Democrat-held 23
  Republican-held 6
2008 post-election Seats
  Democratic-Held 26
  Republican-Held 3

District breakdownEdit

District 13Edit

Republican incumbent Vito Fossella announced his retirement on May 20, 2008, leaving this an open seat. Democratic City Councilman Michael McMahon, endorsed by the Staten Island Democratic Party[2] won the primary against Steve Harrison, who lost to Fossella in 2006. Republican Robert Straniere defeated Dr. Jamshad Wyne in the Republican primary. CQ Politics forecasted the race as 'Democrat Favored'. McMahon defeated Straniere in the general election.[3]

District 19Edit

Democratic incumbent John Hall was challenged by Republican Kieran Lalor. CQ Politics forecasted the race as 'Democrat Favored'. Hall won the election.[4]

District 20Edit

Democratic incumbent Kirsten Gillibrand was challenged by Republican Sandy Treadwell. CQ Politics forecasted the race as 'Leans Democratic'. Gillibrand won easily.[5]

District 21Edit

Democratic incumbent Michael R. McNulty retired, leaving this an open seat. Former State Representative Paul Tonko won the five-way Democratic primary, defeating Tracey Brooks and Phil Steck, and two others. Tonko then handily defeated Republican nominee Jim Buhrmaster, who defeated Ron Paul supporter Steven Vasquez in the Republican primary.[6]

District 23Edit

Republican incumbent John McHugh ran for re-election against Democrat Mike Oot. CQ Politics forecasted the race as "Safe Republican." McHugh prevailed.[7]

District 24Edit

Democratic incumbent Michael Arcuri was challenged by Republican businessman Richard Hanna. CQ Politics forecasted the race as 'Democrat Favored'. Arcuri defeated Hanna.[8]

District 25Edit

Republican incumbent James T. Walsh retired, leaving this an open seat. Democrat Dan Maffei ran against Republican Dale Sweetland who won in a crowded primary race, and frequent candidate Howie Hawkins (who used the "Green Populist" label).[9] CQ Politics forecasted the race as 'Leans Democratic'. Maffei won the election.[10]

District 26Edit

Republican incumbent Thomas M. Reynolds retired, leaving this an open seat. In an upset victory, Amherst environmental lawyer Alice Kryzan won the Democratic primary against Iraq War veteran Jonathan Powers and maverick millionaire Jack Davis. The Republican nominee was businessman Christopher Lee.[11] CQ Politics forecasted the race as 'Leans Republican'. Lee prevailed.[12]

District 27Edit

Democrat Brian Higgins easily defeated Independence Party candidate Dan Humiston. The Republicans did not put forth a candidate, instead cross-endorsing Humiston. Higgins won the general election.[13]

District 28Edit

Democrat Louise Slaughter easily defeated her Republican opponent, David Crimmen.[14]

District 29Edit

Republican incumbent Randy Kuhl, Jr. was challenged by Democrat Eric Massa, who had nearly defeated him in 2006. CQ Politics forecasted the race as 'Leans Republican'.[15] The Cook Political Report ranked it 'Republican Toss Up'[16] The Rothenberg Political Reports rated it as 'Toss-Up/Tilt Democratic'. Massa won the election.[17] [18]


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  2. ^ Staten Island Republicans designated former state Rep. Robert Straniere as their candidate for the Sept. 9 primary
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  9. ^ Petitions Filed with the New York State Board of Elections, accessed 12 September 2008.
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  11. ^ Kryzan beats Powers, Davis Jerry Zremski, The Buffalo News, September 10, 2008
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  15. ^ Race Ratings Chart: House Archived October 28, 2010, at the Wayback Machine CQ Politics
  16. ^ 2008 Competitive House Race Chart Archived 2008-10-16 at the Wayback Machine The Cook Political Report, October 15, 2008
  17. ^
  18. ^ 2008 House Ratings The Rothenberg Political Report, October 14, 2008

External linksEdit