Some politicians facing re-election choosing to stay home
The Democratic National Convention may serve as a networking opportunity for some politicians, others facing a rough re-election campaign have chosen to stay home this year. Capital Tonight's Nick Reisman has more from Charlotte.
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- For nearly a generation, conventions have evolved from smoke-filled rooms to week-long parties for politicos that gives them a chance to network and make national connections.
“It's exciting. You meet fellow Democrats. You get to participate in one of the great spectacles of American politics,” Representative Jerrold Nadler said.
But with the glitz and glamour of these events, there's also a political drawback for some House candidates and members. Many who are facing tough campaigns, including Kathy Hochul, Dan Maffei, Louise Slaughter and Kathy Hochul, chose to stay home. Longtime Harlem Representative Charles Rangel, who is 82, has faced national scrutiny and had a narrow primary victory in June.
“Every candidate makes that decision based on their schedule and their needs. As a candidate myself, I understand that, so we think they made the best decision for themselves,” said Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner. She is also the State Democratic Party Co-Chair.
But for those members who are facing relatively easy paths to victory this fall, the convention can serve as a chance to form alliances now before the new Congress is seated.
“I had the opportunity yesterday to meet candidates from all over the country, people who are expected to be successful in November from Ohio, from Hawaii, from Pennsylvania, from Texas. Everyone has a different story, but the same message as to why they were successful in their Democratic primaries,” Congressional candidate Hakeem Jeffries said.
And then there's the chance to be a booster for the party.
Representative Paul Tonko said, “I think it recharges your efforts to win the House over for the Democrats. I think people come here and they put their expertise to the test for the Democrats here.”
Republicans faced the same issue at their convention in Tampa last week. Many of their candidates chose to keep campaigning at home rather than be seen partying it up.