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The NY Congressional race for the seat held by Peter King is being mostly ignored but Dave Mejias is making a real fight out of it.

Peter King has not faced real competition in this supposedly safe Republican district since he was first elected in 1992.  But the last poll, which is now 12 days old, shows King and Dave Mejias in a virtual dead heat (48% to 46% for King but within the poll's margin of error).  Since that poll was taken, the candidates had their only debate in which Mejias clearly showed he was the superior candidate.  

What effect has this had on King? King recently announced that he was spending his war chest of over $1.6 million to win this race.  Clearly King is worried and why shouldn't he be?  In a district that was carved specifically to be a safe Republican seat, Mejias is giving King a run for his money and has a real chance to make Long Island all Democratic in Congress.

King is in danger of losing his seat for the simple reason that he has been a disaster as a Congressman.  No major bills have been introduced by King in his 14 years as a Congressman.  Although he claims to be strongly opposed to terrorism, he has supported the IRA in the past.  King, in spite of having the key chairmanship of the Committee on Homeland Security, has been unable to prevent pork barrel spending of homeland security funds and has sat by as money was taken away from New York City, where many of his constituents work, and given to Bingo halls in Kentucky.

If Mejias wins it will be a major blow to a Republican party which is quickly becoming irrelevant in NY state.  After this election, unless a miracle occurs it is unlikely that the GOP will hold a single statewide office.  George Pataki (NY Governor) has managed to destroy the party that once was quite powerful in NY by filling the GOP hierarchy with his cronies in a bid to build a base to run for president.  Perhaps another diary entry can discuss the collapse of the party of Nelson Rockefeller and the end of liberal Republicans in general.  

But even if Mejias loses, he has forced King to spend his war chest on this election, therefore depriving the GOP of those funds in other elections and depriving King of those funds in 2008. Keep your eye on this race because if Mejias wins, November 7th will be a long cold night for the GOP.

Originally posted to Tom Paul on Tue Oct 24, 2006 at 08:32 PM PDT.

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