Sabato's Crystal Ball

New York (20) House 2010

Crystal Ball Outlook: Leans R

Democratic candidate: Scott Murphy, incumbent

Republican candidate: Chris Gibson, veteran

Recent updates from the Crystal Ball

Background:

Scott Murphy became the Representative for the 20th district of New York following a special election in March, 2009. Kristen Gillibrand, Murphy’s predecessor, resigned following her appointment to the Senate seat vacated by Hillary Clinton. Murphy defeated James Tedisco, the Republican minority leader in the New York Assembly, by an extremely close margin.

Murphy, a member of the conservative Blue Dog Coalition, voted to pass health care legislation in March despite a “no” vote last fall. Murphy changed his vote after changes were made to the original legislation addressing the systemic flaws plaguing health care. Murphy has yet single out the issues that will constitute his election platform, but jobs and small businesses are likely to figure prominently in his campaign.

James Tedisco, a member of the New York State Assembly since 1983, is hoping for a rematch this November. Although he is head and shoulders above the rest of the Republican field in fundraising, he still must defeat fellow Republican Christopher Gibson, a 24-year Army veteran, in the September 14 Primary. Eric Sundwall, another fixture from the special election who eventually supported Murphy over Tedisco, will run again on the Libertarian ticket this fall. Despite the strength of the competition, New York’s 20th district remains Leans Democratic.