Arcuri Won’t Commit To Running
Rep. Mike Arcuri, who is under fire from organized labor and the Working Families Party for switching his vote from “yes” to “no” on health care reform, is refusing to say definitively whether he is running for re-election this fall.
YNN reporter Sabina Kuriakose caught up with Arcuri yesterday at the train station in Rensselaer where he was on-hand to promote high-speed rail. (The congressman jumped on the train and rode it home to the Utica area). Asked before his departure whether he is definitely in the race, Arcuri replied:
“I haven’t made any formal announcement yet, and I won’t be making an announcement for a few months. Obviously, you know, projects like this are what I think are really important. That’s what I get elected for Congress for. There’ll be more than enough time to talk about politics in the future, but for now obviously the important thing is making sure that we get projects like high speed rail and as much funding for upstate New York.”
When pressed on whether he has at least thought about a campaign for the formerly GOP-held seat he won back in 2006 (the post was open due to the retirement of former GOP Rep. Sherwood Boehlert; Arcuri defeated former state Sen. Ray Meier), the congressman said he’s focused right now on health care (!), the economy, and high-speed rail – basically everything BUT politics.
“These are the issues that people are concerned with,” Arcuri said. “I think, with all due respect, people in the media, you know, obviously spend most of their time covering campaigns. We try to spend most of our time, and we certainly are supposed to spend most of our time, trying to represent our constituents.”
“And you know, again, I’m not being cute, but I think there’ll be more than enough time to talk about politics, but for now, I think it’s imperative that we do things like we’re doing today.”
Arcuri had a difficult race in 2008. His Republican challenger, Richard Hanna, won 48 percent of the vote in a year that was very good for Democrats. Hanna is running again this year at a time when anti-incumbent sentiment is very high and the Democrats are expected to take a hit in the mid-term elections.
Hanna outraised Arcuri in the first quarter of this year, bringing in $358,357 plus a $22,000 loan he made to his campaign. To date, Hanna has loaned himself $272,000.
Arcuri raised $207,989 over the past three months, but he has more cash on hand than Hanna – $493,071 to $357,890.
Arcuri won re-election in 2008 with the help of the WFP and labor unions like SEIU/1199, both of which have pulled their support of him and his fellow “no” voter, Rep. Mike McMahon (NY-13).
The WFP is threatening to back a challenger against Arcuri this fall – a move that would essentially be a “don’t mess with us” warning shot to the entire delegation. The party has had discussions with Les Roberts, a Democrat who challenged Arcuri in 2006, but eventually dropped out of the race to maximize the party’s chances of winning the NY-24 seat.
|Print article||This entry was posted by Liz Benjamin on April 18, 2010 at 8:40 am, and is filed under Congress, Democrats, Health Care, Labor, NY-24, Republicans, Working Families Party. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.|