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New York: Top Democrats Fete Owens at Hill Event

Attorney Bill Owens, the Democratic nominee in the special election to replace former Rep. John McHugh (R), slipped into Washington, D.C., last week for a Capitol Hill fundraiser, according to the Web site PolitickerNY.com. The fundraiser was sponsored by New York Sens. Charles Schumer (D) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D), Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Chris Van Hollen (Md.), New York Reps. Joe Crowley (D) and Steve Israel (D), and Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-Pa.).

Owens also put in an appearance last week at an Israel fundraiser on Long Island that netted the Congressman more than $200,000. Former President Bill Clinton was the headliner at the fundraiser, Newsday reported, and basketball star Stephon Marbury also was there.

Owens is embroiled in a tight three-way race with state Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava (R) and accountant Douglas Hoffman, the Conservative Party nominee. While the upstate district has been sending Republicans to Congress since the Civil War, it did go for President Barack Obama in the 2008 White House election.

The TV ad war began in the district this week, with Owens going on the air with his first introductory spot and the National Republican Congressional Committee launching TV and radio ads attacking Owens and promoting Scozzafava.

The NRCC is also putting up a Web ad today hitting Owens for filing his personal financial disclosure forms late. The ad features footage of Owens leaving the DCCC offices in Washington. Meanwhile, Owens today is kicking off a five-day swing through the district to unveil and promote his job-creation initiative.

The special election hasn’t been scheduled yet, but it’s widely expected to be called for Election Day, which is Nov. 3.

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