In late March, former Rep. Dan Maffei said he was "strongly considering" another run for Congress.
Now, two months later, Maffei announced Saturday he will be making a decision on whether to challenge Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle, R-Onondaga Hill, soon.
Maffei represented the 25th Congressional District after winning in 2008, but lost to Buerkle in a surprise outcome in Nov. 2010.
In an email to supporters and members of the media, Maffei gave an update on where he stands.
He also didn't shy away from criticizing Buerkle for her positions.
The full email appears below:
I have been greatly encouraged by the positive outpouring of support and so many wonderful emails I have received. I've had the opportunity to reconnect with so many friends and supporters and am continuing to reach out. I have made a few appearances, including delivering the keynote speech at the annual 17th Ward Democrats' Dinner. I have received much constructive criticism and also an overwhelming amount of energy and enthusiasm toward my strong consideration of running again!
Clearly the "representation" we have been receiving in Washington is even worse than we expected. There doesn't seem to be any attempt by Ann Marie Buerkle to recognize that, while this district is one of the more moderate districts in the country, her votes and her public statements are those of a far right wing ideologue. Her support for ending Medicare as we know it (after running on a platform of preserving Medicare), giveaways to big oil companies, and devastating cuts of women's health services are radical and extreme. She hosts so-called "town hall" meetings but then refuses to hear what so many people are saying to her, or modify any of her positions in the slightest.
Democrat Kathy Hochul's stunning victory in Western New York in an overwhelmingly Republican district is a clear signal that voters are rejecting the radical policies that Ann Marie Buerkle has embraced!
Against that backdrop, many of you are asking when I will make a decision about whether to run for Congress next year. You may have seen the article in the Syracuse Post Standard recently speculating about whether I might announce my candidacy soon. A run for Congress would require the same whole-hearted dedication and commitment that I have always shown, regardless of the outcome.
Although in 2010, we won Onondaga County by a relatively wide margin (much greater than we did in 2006), the heavily Republican areas in Wayne and Monroe counties caused us to lose by just 648 votes. The disappointment in this result has made many people forget how remarkable it was to go from no Democratic candidate running at all in 2004 to a narrow loss to Jim Walsh in 2006 to taking the Republican-leaning seat in 2008.
As I mentioned in the Post Standard recently, I understand that other Democrats may be interested in running next year. Between Buerkle's extremism and a presidential election year coming up, I understand the drive that potential candidates may have to get started. Indeed, it is important to get started soon -- before the new district maps are even drawn -- with the groundwork for the campaign.
But it is also important to make sure we have the right candidate and that candidate has the right kind of campaign. In our last campaign, somewhere between one and two million dollars (or maybe more) in TV, radio, print, and direct mail advertisement was parachuted into the district in the last week by the likes of Carl Rove and other far right wing groups. Buerkle will be defended by her right-wing activist friends within the district and far away.
Our number one overall goal should be to make sure Ann Marie Buerkle is defeated in 2012 and send to the Congress the most effective person to get things done to ensure a bright future for Central New York. The 2012 elections will be crucial nationwide as well. The far right is gearing up to take over the United States Senate and Barack Obama will be under attack like no other President in history.
From my first campaign in 2006 - when no one thought we had a chance - to last year's race, I could not have forged ahead without you. I plan on making my decision soon. Give me your feedback ... your thoughts ... your suggestions. Let's talk about how we can do this together! I look forward to hearing from you and continuing the conversation. Abby and I have done a great deal of thinking about this, and I want to make sure to to do it the right way - one that builds on my strong support from people like you.
The mention of Democrat Kathy Hochul's win in NY-26 isn't surprising. Democrats have been energized by the victory, and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which has hammered Buerkle since taking office for her positions on issues, is setting its sights on taking back the House in 2012.
But Maffei talked tough about Buerkle. He criticized her views and said that she should be a top priority to defeat in 2012. In fact, the DCCC probably agrees with that, since they have been very active in targeting Buerkle for certain votes she has cast since taking office.
I will have more on this email later today.