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Coverage of the 2016 presidential election from NPR News and related blogs, including candidate profiles, interviews and talking points.On-air specials will also be broadcast as Election Day approaches, including the Iowa caucus and New Hampshire primary.WRVO also provides coverage of regional elections both on-air and online.

Several competitive House races to be fought in upstate


Now that the primary is over, New York candidates for Congress can get started on the general election -- when more voters are paying attention. Upstate in particular should see a lot of competitive races.

The nonpartisan Cook Political Report is calling three Congressional races in upstate "toss-ups." In other words, they really could go either way. They put a fourth upstate race in the "lean Republican" category.

New York’s 22nd Congressional District is one of those toss-ups. Claudia Tenney of Oneida County won the GOP primary on Tuesday, setting up a contest with Democrat Kim Myers of Broome County. 

Tenney spoke to WRVO after her primary victory on Tuesday night.

"I think I’m going to have a [really good] leg up on her. There’s more Republicans in the district," she said while celebrating in New Hartford. "I think it’s going to be a real contest though."

There are about 30,000 more active Republicans than Democrats in the district. But way more Democrats in the 22nd turned out in this year’s presidential primary. 177,135 Democrats voted for delegates for Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton. 66,081 Republicans voted for Donald Trump, Ted Cruz or John Kasich.

The themes of the presidential campaign are finding their way into these Congressional races. According to Syracuse.com, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is running ads in order to tie current House members to Trump. Out on the campaign trail, Republican candidates are consistently asked about their responses to statements made by Donald Trump. 

In an event Wednesday, Myers rejected Donald Trump’s pledge to build a wall on the Mexican border. 

"It’s not about building walls. It’s not about criticizing others. It’s not about going backwards in our society," she said. "It’s about standing up to extremists here in the 22nd and in our country."

Credit Bret Jaspers / WRVO News
Broome County legislator Kim Myers (D) is running to replace Rep. Richard Hanna (R-Barneveld) in Congress.

With so much attention going to the top of the ballot, it’s hard not to wonder how it will affect races closer to home. There are three other “toss up” Congressional races in New York: the 19th Congressional district, which includes Oneonta, Cooperstown and large parts of the Hudson Valley; the 24th, which occupies the Syracuse area; and the 3rd, which is on northern Long Island.

The 23rd Congressional District may also be competitive. The Cook Political Report rates it as "Lean Republican." Republican incumbent Tom Reed will get a challenge from Democrat John Plumb, a former member of the Obama Administration's National Security Council. Plumb was also a Navy submarine officer.