New York Gov. David Paterson Wednesday set a date for the special election to fill the congressional seat of Now-Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand. The election will take place March 31, giving both candidates another month and a half of politicking.
 

The extra time could help Democrat Scott Murhpy, whose name recognition isn’t nearly as high as Republican James Tedisco. Murphy is a venture capitalist from Saratoga Springs, in the northern part of the 20th District. Tedisco is the minority leader of the New York State Assembly and well-known throughout Saratoga County—his assembly district overlaps with part of the 20th CD. 
 

Republicans had been urging Gov. Paterson to set a date sooner rather than later. New RNC Chair Michael Steele visited the district last week underscoring the importance of this race to the national party. The GOP holds a large registration advantage in NY-20 and an internal poll released last week by the Tedisco camp boasted a 50-29 percent lead over Murphy. 


Shane D’Aprile is Senior Editor at Politics magazine. sdaprile@politicsmagazine.com