Following a precipitous drop in the polls, GOP congressional candidate Jim Tedisco is wresting control of his campaign from the National Republican Congressional Committee in his key House race.
Tedisco is running for the upstate New York seat vacated by Kirsten Gillibrand when she was appointed to Hillary Clinton’s Senate seat. He is squaring off against Democrat Scott Murphy, a businessman and venture capitalist, in the March 31 special election.
A new poll by Sienna Research Institute released on Thursday showed Tedisco with a slim 4 percentage point lead over Murphy, which is close to a statistical dead heat. Tedisco, the minority leader in the state assembly, enjoyed a 12 percentage point lead in a previous Siena survey just two weeks earlier.
Tedisco said he’s taking control of his advertising campaign from the NRCC.
“I’m taking over and we’re going to run a campaign that relates to the people of the 20th Congressional District,” he told the (Glen Falls, N.Y.) Post Star.
Tedisco blamed his drop in the polls on a negative ad campaign that attacked his opponent, and said his new campaign will focus on positive issues and “leave the rest of the distortions to the other side.”
Tedisco has been a vocal conservative advocating fiscal responsibility and lower taxes, and is also a social conservative on issues like abortion. The 20th district has had a Republican congressman for 18 of the past 24 years.
Several GOP heavy hitters have stumped for Tedisco, including Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele, and Wall Street columnist John Fund stressed the importance of the special election in a recent Newsmax interview, saying it “will be the first public referendum on the Obama administration.”
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