NY-23: Obama to Name McHugh Secretary of the Army

Whoa mama joe:

Representative John M. McHugh, a Republican congressman from New York, will be nominated by President Obama to be secretary of the Army, according to officials….

Mr. Obama formally offered the Pentagon position to the lawmaker on Monday afternoon, and his nomination is expected to be announced later on Tuesday, officials said. …

The nine-term House member, who represents a sprawling northern New York district that includes the Fort Drum Army base, is the senior Republican on the Armed Services Committee and has a solid reputation with members of both parties for his knowledge of military affairs. He also serves on the Board of Visitors for the United States Military Academy at West Point.

This is obviously huge news for open seat fans, as this R+1 district went for Obama by 52-47 last year. A resignation would prompt another special election. As you may recall from the recent NY-20 special, there is no fixed timetable for Gov. Paterson to actuall call a new election, so the date is up in the air.

As for possible candidates, Chris Cillizza gets the ball rolling:

The list of potential candidates for the McHugh opening is in its infant stages. State Sen. Darrel Aubertine, who won a special election in a district that covers much of the western half of the 23rd in February 2008, could be an attractive candidate for Democrats. Some Republican insiders have already begun to tout Robert Taub, McHugh’s chief of staff, as a potential candidate.

Politics on the Hudson offers a couple more:

On the Republican side, Assemblywoman Diedre Scozzafava was mentioned, as well as Assemblyman Will Barclay, who lost to Aubertine in the special election in 2008.

Any other names coming to mind? (More here from HC Liberal.)

24 thoughts on “NY-23: Obama to Name McHugh Secretary of the Army”

  1. but isn’t the state senate very much in doubt so giving up the seat might put control back in the GOP’s hands?

  2. only in New York could we get a race between a pro-choice/pro-gay marriage Republican (Scozzafava) and a pro-life/anti-gay marriage Democrat (Aubertine).

    Granted, we’ll only get that if the Republicans surprise us by not nominating the most conservative contender possible.

    I’m also guessing the NYSA Republican Leader Pro Tempore wouldn’t want to become a Democrat if Aubertine passed and she was denied her party’s nod.

  3. State Senator from Oneida, which is in the district, and he went to school in Potsdam, also in the district.  Looks like a good fit to me.

  4. He’s already proven that he doesn’t care about actually living in a district he’s running in.

  5. We need his seat in the State Senate much more then we need this Congressional seat. I’m sure we can find someone else not on the radar yet ala Scott Murphy.

    Brilliant pick though. We’ve got a 50-50 chance of winning and more interestingly McHugh has remained undecided on DADT. Wouldn’t he be a pretty good guy to push repeal of that?

    So who do we have remaining in NY after this? Just King and Lee? We should be able to knock out one of them and redistrict the other. All blue NY here we come.

  6. This will be a most interesting special election, especially if Betty Little (who ended up voting for the gay marriage bill) ends up being the nominee for the Republicans. But Im not so sure she wants it or even can come close to getting it. Also, was reading some comments over at PoliticalWire about this and a couple people who live/lived in this district both say its a tough one for Democrats in a general sense. Obama won, yes, and Gore I believe, too, and Kerry came close, but nevertheless tough for Dems. But wasn’t the same said for Murphy’s district? This will be much interesting to follow.

  7. Now we can go after Lee and King with impunity.  This will be a much easier take than NY-20 by the numbers.  We don’t want to lose a precious majority in the State Senate, though, I agree.  Any way to have our cake and eat it too?

  8. And Aubertine’s district is extremely red (that area hadn’t been represented by a Dem for over a century) and would be an almost unthinkably difficult hold.

  9. Although she was just elected to the state Assembly in 2008, she previously was elected twice to the county legislature in Jefferson County, so she isn’t a complete political newcomer

    She comes from the geographic heart of this very large and spread-out district, and the two swing counties she represents in the Assembly  together represent about 30% of the votes cast in the congressional district. This would provide a strong base, with the other two population centers in the district including the heavily Democratic Clinton/Franklin/Essex county area (about 22% of the district), and the very evenly divided politically marginal Oswego County (about 18%), with the remainder of the district votes scattered among a number of smaller counties.

    She’s young (31), politically skilled, and smart — if she were to win the seat she would have a potentially long Congressional career ahead of her — (assuming a reasonable district could be drawn for her in 2012)

    Best of all, her departure from the Assembly would not impact the power balance there — while Aubertine’s departure would endanger party control of the State Senate (although presumably if Aubertine were to be elected to Congress, Russell would be a strong contender to take his State Senate seat).

    There is a stronger Republican bench in here in the North Country – another one of those traditionally moderate Republican northeastern areas that has been trending Democratic in response to the right wing taker-over of the national Republican party. Taking this seat would be a natural extension of the northeastern Republican wipe-out.

  10. Tedisco might not have lived in the 20th, but as ArkDem noted, he represented part of the district, lived just outside of the boundaries and had pretty strong family ties to parts of the 20th. He has no similar relationship to the 23rd, if he were to run there he would be rejected as a complete carpet-bagger.

    State Senator Betty Little wanted to run in the special election in the 20th, but was outmaneuvered by Tedisco — she lives in the 20th, but represents a very small portion of the 23rd in the State Senate — I actually doubt she would be a strong contender unless no other strong Republican emerged. (Unlikely in a district with tons of Republican officeholders on their bench).

  11. Yeah the type of folks there strike me as being more like the ones in New Hampshire than MA or CT. Betty Little is perhaps a good example of what this district is like (though i dont know much else of her besides her gay marriage vote) but who knows if the GOP will give her the nod if shes interested.

  12. and in the House: Barclay (barely in Oswego), Butler (barely in Fulton), Janet Duprey (who looks pretty right-wing for the North Country part of the District–in fact, Plattsburgh’s represented by a Republican, at all?), Oaks (barely in Oswego), Sayward, Scozzafava (who, according to the thread is pretty RINO), Townsend (looks moderate but to Scozzafava’s right socially).  

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