The National Republican Congressional Committee made it clear today: The 25th Congressional District race is just that -- a race.
Today, the NRCC announced Ann Marie Buerkle has advanced to the top level of its "Young Guns" program, joining other New York congressional candidates like Richard Hanna in earning the achievement.
"Ann Marie Buerkle is ready to take on incumbent Dan Maffei, an out-of-touch Washington insider who has recklessly supported his party's runaway spending spree which has led to unacceptably high unemployment and massive debt," NRCC Chairman Pete Sessions (R-TX) said. "Ann Marie's campaign is a symbol of the growing momentum behind Republican candidacies in New York and across the country. As Democrats in Washington continue to push their big-government, big-spending policies onto the backs of hard-working families, independent leaders like Ann Marie Buerkle will continue to present a clear alternative to a majority that continues to spend too much, borrow too much and tax too much."
Buerkle is challenging Rep. Dan Maffei in a race that was thought to be out of reach for Republicans. But Buerkle has received some positive news lately.
Her campaign points to polls from GOP pollsters showing her in a tight race or even leading Maffei. And while Maffei has raised more money and enjoys a huge cash-on-hand advantage, Buerkle says her campaign is a grassroots effort with volunteers and voters on her side.
Political handicappers also are starting to notice.
The Cook Political Report moved the NY-25 race from the "likely Democratic" category to "leans Democratic." While that still gives Maffei room to breathe, it also gives Buerkle a sign that something is working for her.