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Maffei, Katko battle for voters in tight congressional race

Ryan Delaney
Democratic Congressman Dan Maffei (left) and Republican John Katko (right) are running to represent the 24th Congressional District, which includes four counties, including Onondaga County.

Democratic incumbent Dan Maffei and his Republican challenger John Katko are locked into a tight race that will determine who represents the Syracuse-area's 24th Congressional District in Congress.

Maffei says he knew the race would be close.

"This was always going to be a tight race," Maffei said. "There's always ups and downs in any electorate, given the times that these are. What I do is I just go out and meet with voters everyday, and work on making sure that our message of what we've done, and what we will continue to do to strengthen the middle-class and improve the economy and create jobs, gets out there. And I believe that message is getting out there."

Katko started the race with less name recognition, and says he has been trying to travel to all parts of the district to drum up support.

"We've repeatedly closed the gap in a methodical way since the polling started," Katko explained, during a recent event in Oswego. "And that's basically a product of the fact that the more people get to know me and what I'm about, the more the gap closes. And that's a good sign. That means people are listening to our message and that message is resonating."

Some Washington, D.C. political pundits say they may soon have to categorize the race as a toss-up. The most recent poll has Maffei leading Katko by eight points.

The 24th Congressional District includes all or part of four counties, including Oswego, Wayne, Cayuga and Onondaga counties.