After eight months in the house, Hudson Valley Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney has accumulated a record that even Republicans acknowledge will be tough to beat next year. But that hasn't stopped Nan Hayworth, the Republican congresswoman Maloney ousted from office last year, from thinking about a rematch in 2014. Washington, D.C. bureau reporter Michael Scotto has the story in part two of his series, "Fight for the House."
NEW YORK STATE -- On a tour of his Hudson Valley district, Sean Patrick Maloney looks like he's been a regular for years.
Over the last eight months, the freshman congressman has tried to craft an image of an independent politician who's not beholden to the Democratic Party. The strategy has resulted in votes that have put him on the same side as Republicans. Case in point: His support earlier this summer for a bill to delay the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate.
"Do you think you'd have the same voting record if you were representing New York City?" our reporter asked.
Maloney replied, "Sure, you have to be who you are, but I also represent a district where you need to listen to everybody."
It's a smart approach for a Democrat who represents a swing district and who could face an election in 2014 that might look a whole lot like the one he faced in 2012.
Next year, Maloney may face a rematch with Nan Hayworth, who lost her congressional seat to Maloney last year. She has yet to officially declare her candidacy, but she is taking steps toward a potential run. During the second quarter of this year, Hayworth raised more than $300,000.
"I am seriously considering it," Hayworth said.
And now she and Maloney are signaling what a rematch could look like.
"We have a very different set of priorities. As you know, her priority is to give huge tax cuts to multi-millionaires like herself," Maloney said.
"I have the pleasure and the privilege of listening to people here who tell me all the time that they want an effective advocate who really understands and has a heart and a home and a life in the Hudson Valley," Hayworth said.
The problem for Hayworth, however, is that Republicans have grown to like Maloney.
"Performance is the most important and you do first class," said State Senator William Larkin.
And predict he'll be hard to beat.
"I believe he will be tough because he's out there every place," Larkin said.
Trying to show he's getting results.