The National Republican Congressional Committee didn't spend a nickel to help Rep. Richard Hanna — a pro-gay marriage Republican — stave off tea party candidate Claudia Tenney in the primary in New York's 22nd Congressional District, says Ian Prior, regional press secretary for the committee.
"The NRCC didn't spend any money in this primary, and we didn't run any ads," Prior said, appearing on Newsmax TV's
"America's Forum" on Wednesday.
He explained that "Richard Hanna is well known in the district . . . in these congressional races, you know that's where the focus is, it's on how the individual member or the individual candidate running really connects with their district, the record of constituent services, and really, that's what's putting Richard Hanna back in Congress for a third term."
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Hanna defeated State Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney, a stridently conservative legislator who received the endorsements of Fox News host Sean Hannity and former Pennsylvania senator and presidential candidate Rick Santorum.
Democrats do not have a challenger for Hanna in November – which Prior characterized as a "recruiting fail" by the Democratic Congressional Committee and its leader, Rep. Steve Israel. So, the seat will stay with Hanna.
Prior weighed in on the New York congressional races, including State Sen. Lee Zeldin's win in the GOP primary for the 1st Congressional District and a probable victory by Democratic Rep. Charles Rangel, age 84 and a 22-term incumbent, representing Harlem and portions of the Bronx.
Rangel leads his challenger, state Sen. Adriano Espaillat by 1,800 votes, though Espaillat hadn't conceded.
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