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Democratic Prospects For Walsh Seat Improve

Democrats’ hopes of picking up the Syracuse-area House seat of Rep. James Walsh (R-N.Y.) got a bit brighter today.

Syracuse mayor Matt Driscoll announced he would not be challenging Dan Maffei, giving Maffei an unimpeded path to the nomination.  Driscoll's decision also means that Maffei can continue to raise money without having to spend much of it for a competitive primary.

“Although my research and discussions with many people showed that this race is certainly an attainable one for me, it comes down to the impact this would have on my family in the long run being away from home so much and the impact a primary would have on the local party in the short run,” Driscoll said in a statement.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has long backed Maffei, and all but one of the Democrats in the state delegation has endorsed his candidacy. Maffei, a former press secretary on the House Ways and Means Committee, came within two percentage points of defeating Walsh in the 2006 election despite being outspent significantly.

But despite Maffei’s establishment support, Driscoll continued to offer hints that he might run in the primary. He announced that he was forming an exploratory committee two weeks ago and had begun raising money for a potential campaign.
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