House Democrats hoped to unseat up to four incumbent New York Republicans on Tuesday as part of their long-shot effort to regain control of the House.
Democrats’ top four targets were freshman Reps. Nan Hayworth and Chris Gibson in the Hudson Valley, Ann Marie Buerkle in the Syracuse area and Michael Grimm on Staten Island.
Both parties poured millions of dollars into those races and into races in four other New York congressional districts that Republicans considered their best opportunities for building on their 240-190 majority in the House (five seats are vacant).
Freshman Rep. Kathy Hochul of Erie County and two-term Rep. Bill Owens of Plattsburgh appeared to be the most vulnerable Democrats in New York’s delegation, based on recent polling by Siena College. Both won their seats in special elections, Owens in 2009 and Hochul in 2011.
The two other highly targeted Democrats were 13-term Rep. Louise Slaughter of the Rochester area and five-term Rep. Tim Bishop on eastern Long Island.
If Democrats won all eight of those competitive races, they could hold 24 of the state’s 27 House seats when the 113th Congress is sworn in next year.
An even rosier outcome for Democrats in New York would see Democrat Nate Shinagawa of Ithaca defeating Republican Rep. Tom Reed of Corning in the Southern Tier.
Only two Republican House members — freshman Rep. Richard Hanna of the Utica area and veteran Rep. Peter King of Long Island — were considered completely safe.
But if Republicans win widespread support from independent voters, as they did in 2010, they could win all eight competitive House races. That would give them 11 New York House seats, including new pickups stretching from the Buffalo area to eastern Long Island.
In New York City, two Democratic state Assembly members were heavily favored to win in races for open seats. The two are Grace Meng, a Chinese-American attorney from Queens, and Hakeem Jeffries, a black attorney from Brooklyn.
Four members of the state’s House delegation were not on Tuesday’s ballot. Democratic Reps. Maurice Hinchey of Saugerties, Gary Ackerman of Nassau County and Edolphus Towns of Brooklyn are retiring. Republican Rep. Bob Turner of Queens ran unsuccessfully in a Republican primary for U.S. Senate back in June.
No matter who wins Tuesday, New York’s House delegation is shrinking from 29 seats to 27. Faster-growing states such as Texas and Florida, meanwhile, are gaining House seats.
The redrawing of congressional districts in New York is the major reason there are so many competitive House races.
Independent advocacy groups and political parties have spent heavily on those races. Independent groups have spent an estimated $36.2 million, according to the Federal Election Commission.
The top race for such spending was in the 18th Congressional District, where Nan Hayworth was challenged by Democrat Sean Maloney, a Manhattan attorney who recently moved to Putnam County. Outside groups spent nearly $5.4 million, according to the latest count.
Outside groups spent more than $5 million in the districts where freshman Republicans Chris Gibson and Ann Marie Buerkle face tossup races.
And outside groups spent more than $4 million in two races in which Democratic incumbents Kathy Hochul and Tim Bishop faced tough re-election campaigns.
Here’s a summary of the races around the state:
1st Congressional District (eastern Long Island) — Democratic Rep. Tim Bishop of Southampton is seeking a 6th term in a rematch of his 2010 race against Republican businessman Randy Atlschuler, who added the Independence Party line this election cycle.
2nd Congressional District (South Shore of Long Island in parts of Nassau and Suffolk counties) — Veteran Republican Rep. Peter King is expected to win an 11th term against Democrat Vivianne Falcone.
3rd Congressional District (parts of Queens, Nassau and Suffolk counties on Long Island) — Democratic Rep. Steve Israel is favored for re-election to a seventh term against Republican Stephen Labate, Libertarian candidate Michael McDermott and Constitution Party candidate Anthony Tolda.
4th Congressional District (parts of Nassau County) — Democratic Rep. Carolyn McCarthy is favored to win a ninth term against Republican Francis Becker Jr. and Conservative Party candidate Frank Scatturro.
5th Congressional District (parts of Queens and Nassau counties) — Democratic Rep. Gregory Meeks is expected to win a ninth term against Republican Allan Jennings Jr. and Libertarian candidate Catherine Wark.
6th Congressional District (parts of Queens) — State Assemblywoman Grace Meng is favored to beat Republican candidate Daniel Halloran and Green Party candidate Evergreen Chou.
7th Congressional District (parts of Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan) — Democratic Rep. Nydia Velazquez is favored to win an 11th term against Conservative Party candidate James Murray. There is no candidate on the Republican line in this district.
8th Congressional District (parts of Brooklyn and Queens) — State Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries is expected to win election against Republican Allan Bellone and Green Party candidate Colin Beavan.
9th Congressional District (parts of Brooklyn) — Democratic Rep. Yvette Clarke is expected to win a fourth term against Republican Daniel Cavanagh and Green Party candidate Vivia Morgan.
10th Congressional District (parts of Manhattan and Brooklyn) — Democratic Rep. Jerrold Nadler is expected to win a 12th term against Republican Michael Chan.
11th Congressional District (Staten Island and parts of Brooklyn) — In one of the most competitive races in the state, freshman Republican Rep. Michael Grimm faces a challenge from Democrat Mark Murphy. Green Party candidate Henry Bardel also is running.
12th Congressional District (parts of Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens) — Democratic Rep. Carolyn Maloney is expected to win an 11th term against Republican Christopher Wright.
13th Congressional District (Harlem, other parts of northern Manhattan and parts of the Bronx) — Democratic Rep. Charles Rangel is prohibitively favored to win a 22nd term against Republican Craig Schley and Socialist Workers candidate Deborah Liatos.
14th Congressional District (parts of Queens and the Bronx) — Democratic Rep. Joe Crowley is expected to win an eighth term against Republican William Gibbons Jr. and Green Party candidate Anthony Gronowicz.
15th Congressional District (parts of the Bronx) — Democratic Rep. Jose Serrano is heavily favored to win a 13th term against Republican Frank Della Valle.
16th Congressional District (parts of the north Bronx and southern Westchester County) — Democratic Rep. Eliot Engel is heavily favored to win a 13th term against Republican Joseph McLaughlin and Green Party candidate Joseph Diaferia.
17th Congressional District (Rockland County and parts of Westchester County) — Democratic Rep. Nita Lowey is favored to win a 13th term against Republican Joe Carvin and We the People candidate Francis Morganthaler.
18th Congressional District (Orange and Putnam counties and parts of Westchester and Dutchess counties) — Freshman Republican Rep. Nan Hayworth is in a tight race against Democrat Sean Maloney.
19th Congressional District (the upper Hudson Valley and part of the Catskill region covering seven counties and parts of four other counties) — Freshman Republican Rep. Chris Gibson is in a tight race against Democrat Julian Schreibman.
20th Congressional District (the Capital region, including Albany County, Schenectady and parts of Saratoga, Rensselaer and Montgomery counties) — Democratic Rep. Paul Tonko is favored to win a third term against Republican Robert Dieterich.
21st Congressional District (the North Country covering the border with Canada and much of the Adirondack Mountains) — Democratic Rep. Bill Owens is in a tight rematch with 2010 Republican opponent Matt Doheny.
22nd Congressional District (Mohawk Valley and all or parts of eight counties stretching south to Binghamton) — Freshman Republican Rep. Richard Hanna is favored to beat Democrat Dan Lamb.
23rd Congressional District (the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes region stretching from Ithaca to Lake Erie) — Republican Rep. Tom Reed is favored to beat Democrat Nate Shinagawa.
24th Congressional District (central New York) — Freshman Republican Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle is in a tossup race against former Democratic Rep. Dan Maffei, who lost to Buerkle in 2010.
25th Congressional District (Monroe County and the city of Rochester) — Democratic Rep. Louise Slaughter is seeking a 14th term in a tight race against Republican Maggie Brooks, the Monroe County executive.
26th Congressional District (parts of Erie and Niagara counties, including the city of Buffalo) — Democratic Rep. Brian Higgins is favored to win a fifth term against Republican Michael Madigan.
27th Congressional District (rural and suburban western New York between the cities of Buffalo and Rochester) — Freshman Democratic Rep. Kathy Hochul is in a tossup race against Republican Chris Collins, the former Erie County executive.