The head of the Senate Republican Campaign Committee acknowledged Friday that the GOP’s candidate in the 55th Senate district is currently losing his race, but said he’s not giving up hope on pulling out a victory on Election Day.
Sen. Thomas Libous, R-Binghamton, cast doubt on the massive swing in favor of Democrat Ted O’Brien in the lasest Siena College poll of the Rochester-based district, but didn’t deny that Republican Assemblyman Sean Hanna, R-Mendon, Monroe County, is trailing. (O’Brien is a Monroe County legislator from Irondequoit.)
“I would concede that we are not winning that seat, but I’m not so sure that — Siena had us up nine (actually eight) and now him up 11. That’s a pretty good swing,” Libous said on WGDJ-AM in Albany. “But where we’re seeing difficulty is Obama is doing very well up there and unfortunately I’m told our congressional candidate is not doing that well. I think overall it’s a heavily Democratic seat; I think Sean is getting caught up in it.”
Libous pointed to a recent $63,650 transfer from the Senate GOP to Hanna’s campaign account to show that he’s not giving up on the seat.
“But I’ll tell you this: We just invested more money up there. We’re not giving up on Sean Hanna,” Libous said. “The polls may show him down substantially. We know that polls can change; we know that behavioral patterns can change. We’re still in there fighting right until the end, and you never know — lightning could always strike.”
The Senate GOP currently holds a 33-29 edge in the chamber. A 63rd seat will be added for 2013.
Spokespeople for both sides of the campaign have traded barbs in recent days, blaming each other for the negative campaigning that has painted the race.
“Sean Hanna has been running the dirtiest campaign Monroe County has ever seen and voters are sick of his unethical attacks,” O’Brien campaign manager Loren Amor said in a statement Thursday.
Senate Republican spokesman Scott Reif said Friday morning: “While Sean Hanna is highlighting the work he’s done with Governor Cuomo and talking about the future, Ted O’Brien has run one of the most deceitful, disgusting and dishonest campaigns in New York political history.”