The Washington Times - March 5, 2010, 11:17AM

Mid-term election season is well under way, and 2010 is likely to be a remarkable year for a number of statewide elections with challengers taking on incumbents sitting in Capitol Hill offices and Governor seats across the country. The Water Cooler will begin a weekly round-up of some these races and other stories relating to the elections happening around the nation, so be sure to stop by and check out who may be running for office in your state.

Since so much scandal from Capitol Hill to Albany is coming from New York lawmakers this week, let’s take a look at some challengers who are already mounting campaigns in the Empire state.


(NY-22) George Phillips : Mr. Phillips is starting his campaign in New York’s 22nd Congressional District running on the Republican line against Democrat incumbent Congressman Maurice Hinchey. A pro-life conservative and history teacher from Endwell, New York, Mr. Phillips previously worked on Capitol Hill for Rep. Chris Smith (R - NJ). Mr. Hinchey, was first elected to the seat in 1992, and won 66 percent of the district in 2008. Mr. Phillips seems unfazed by the uphill battle he has and cited growing tea party movement support he receives in the district. “We have a theme—’had enough?’ The bailouts, the out of control spending, the families leaving New York. We’re just going to repeat our theme again and again, and I think that’s going to appeal to a third of the voters who can’t stand my opponent, but it will also appeal to a third of the voters who are also in the middle,” he says.

(NY - 4) Frank Scaturro: Mr. Scaturro is a  Nassau County, New York native, who has returned to the state’s 4th Congressional District, after working on Capitol Hill in the Senate Judiciary Committee serving as the Counsel for the Constitution. The Republican is running against Democrat incumbent Rep. Carolyn McCarthy who has held the seat since 1997. A Constitutional Scholar and visiting professor at Hofstra Law School, Mr. Scaturro was a key aide on President Bush’s nominations of Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justice Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court.”This country will remain an example to the world for the same reason it always has: the energy, talent, innovation, hard work, and faith of its people. Government should aim to foster these qualities rather than stifle them with a heavy hand,” says Mr. Scaturro.

(NY - 29) Tom Reed: Mr. Reed, the former Mayor of Corning, New York is running for the seat currently held by freshman Democrat Congressman Eric Massa, who recently announced an early retirement from office this week following rumors of sexual harassment allegations, which the New York Congressman has denied, saying he is leaving office due to health issues. Mr. Reed, a Republican, was originally running on the campaign theme that Mr. Massa is too liberal for New York’s 29th Congressional District, an area that went for Sen. John McCain (R - AZ) during the 2008 presidential election. Mr. Reed will take on another candidate the Democrats will likely disguise as a so-called “moderate” for this district as they did with Mr. Massa previously in 2008, so Mr. Reed’s campaign strategy is changing from going after an incumbent’s record to competing for an open seat.