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Maffei, Katko make last-minute efforts to get voters to the polls

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

The race to represent the 24th Congressional District has been marked largely by negative campaign ads, character attacks and a variety of powerful politicians coming to central New York. With eight days before Election Day, Democratic incumbent Dan Maffei and Republican challenger John Katko are now making their final pushes to attract prospective voters.

The national political parties have invested money and sent party leaders to stump for their candidates in the district, which has flip-flopped between going Republican and Democrat in recent elections.

Earlier in the season, Katko earned endorsements from House Speaker John Boehner and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy. Last week, Maffei picked up big-time endorsements of his own, first from Vice President Joe Biden and the second Friday night from former President Bill Clinton, who urged those attending a rally in Syracuse to get out the vote.

"I want you to think about this," Clinton said. "Every single one of you between now and Election Day will pass 100 people you know, whether you know them well or you know them causally. And a bunch of them will not vote unless you personally ask them and tell them a little bit about what we talked about tonight."

Recent polling shows Maffei's lead over Katko sitting between three and eight points. This week, five debates are being held on Syracuse-area TV and radio stations. The candidates will also be out canvassing neighborhoods across the district's four counties, which include all or part of Onondaga, Cayuga, Wayne and Oswego Counties.