Election 2010: Voters Choice

Read what two local Congressional candidates have to say about the issues — and preview three state races that will have an impact on the Valley



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November 4, 2008, was a blue day for Hudson Valley Republicans. That evening, Democratic candidate Barack Obama carried eight of the Valley’s 10 counties — Greene and Putnam were the only holdouts — en route to winning the presidency, and Democrats won all six of the region’s Congressional seats. On the state level, the Republicans managed to win just over half of the Senate districts in the Valley, only to see that victory offset by Democratic triumphs in two of every three Assembly seats in the region.

As is often the case in the first midterm elections following a president’s inauguration, however, the political winds seem to have shifted. The Tea Party, an antitax, antispending grassroots movement formed in response to Democratic initiatives such as the stimulus package and health care reform, has proven to pack a political wallop. In some cases, Republican voters have bucked the party leadership’s preferred candidates to nominate underdogs with platforms more closely aligned with Tea Party values, even as commentators warned that such candidates could scare away independent voters. 

Into this maelstrom comes political novice Nan Hayworth, the Republican candidate for New York’s 19th Congressional district, which includes all of Putnam County and parts of Dutchess, Orange, Rockland and Westchester. Hayworth, a retired ophthalmologist from Mount Kisco, does not match the Tea Party profile of more-ballyhooed newcomers such as gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino: She has largely had the backing of the Republican establishment since she announced her candidacy. But she emphatically shares the Tea Party belief that spending in Washington is out of control. An early poll showed her with a small lead over two-term Democrat incumbent John Hall.

Hudson Valley sat down with Hayworth to discuss her thoughts on life in the Hudson Valley and what she aims to do in Congress, if elected.

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