New York: McHugh Resignation Kicks Off Special Election

Posted September 21, 2009 at 5:06pm

Rep. John McHugh (R) formally resigned his seat Monday and was sworn in as secretary of the Army, kicking off an upstate special election to replace him that has been anticipated for months.

Gov. David Paterson (D) is now expected to set the date for the special election, and it is highly likely that it will take place on Election Day, Nov. 3.

Meanwhile, attorney Bill Owens (D) became the first candidate to hit television airwaves this week with a 30-second spot that focuses on his family’s military background and job creation.

“I come from a family of soldiers,— Owens says in the ad. “My great-grandfather served in the Civil War, my great-uncle in World War I and my father in World War II.—

Owens also plays up his effort to create jobs in the sprawling upstate district, which only marginally favors Republicans.

“I was a captain here at Plattsburgh Air Force Base … before they closed it down,— Owens says. “Since then, I’ve worked to redevelop the base. In all, I’ve helped attract over 2,000 jobs to upstate New York.—

The ad is running on broadcast and cable TV stations. Over the weekend, Owens helped open Democratic field offices in Watertown and Plattsburgh.

Owens faces Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava (R) and Conservative Party nominee Doug Hoffman in the special election, which is expected to be highly competitive.