In the GOP-leaning district, Assemblywoman Jane Corwin remains the favorite after recently sewing up three ballot lines from the Republican, Conservative and Independence Parties, and she's already launched her first television ad before any other candidates even officially enter. Democrats are expected to meet this weekend to vote on their candidate. Erie County Clerk Kathy Hochul has emerged as the favorite -- if she decides to run in what could be an uphill race. But in a sign she is serious about a bid, Hochul recently filed paperwork to run with the Federal Election Commission. Murphy's bid has the potential to even slightly damage whoever the Democratic nominee is -- especially after his call became a cause celebre on the left in the ongoing labor fight in Wisconsin and elsewhere. Democrats were already wary about putting money into the race, and potential third-party threats that could have siphoned votes off Corwin haven't materialized yet. Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) told Hotline On Call in an interview this week he's keeping "both eyes riveted to that district" because "external variables could affect the attention we give it down the road," but said he has spoken with Hochul and that she is an "outstanding" candidate. "It's a tough district," said Israel. "I haven't made the assessment whether we're going to become involved. We want to see how the field solidifies." Iraq War Veteran David Bellavia is collecting petitions to run on a third-party line, mostly likely his own "Federalist" line, after failing to get the Conservative Party's nod this week. Jack Davis, who was the Democratic nominee in both the 2004 and 2006 elections, is still soldiering on with his own bid as well. The wealthy businessman, who tried unsuccessfully to get the GOP nomination, has pledged to put at least $3 million of his own money into the race. Davis is now courting Tea Party support, and has said he'll fill in "Tea Party" on his ballot line if he successfully petitions on. Several Tea Party activists in the Empire State remain skeptical, though, especially since Davis hasn't shown any interest in Tea Party politics until now. Davis will have his own controversial comments to explain if he does officially get in the race. The Buffalo News reported this week that when he was making his pitch to local GOP leaders, he shocked them by suggesting that Hispanic farmworkers should be deported and, instead, inner-city African-American teens should be employed to do their work. "We have a huge unemployment problem with black youth in our cities. Put them on buses, take them out there [to the farms] and pay them a decent wage; they will work," Davis said, according to GOP sources.
Walker Prank Caller Eying NY-26 Race
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