"Today, I stand before you to declare my intent to seek a third term as your representative in the United States Congress,” Kuhl said at his announcement Friday morning.
Kuhl is facing a rematch of his 2006 campaign, when he narrowly defeated formal Naval officer Eric Massa by a two-point margin. Massa is again the likely Democratic nominee, and has outraised Kuhl over the last two fundraising quarters.
Despite running in the most conservative district in New York, Kuhl has faced two competitive elections in a row, and has been unable to amass a sizable enough warchest to fend away competitors.
Kuhl’s decision to run for re-election is a mixed bag for national Republicans. The party has been frustrated with his lackluster fundraising pace so far, despite his inclusion on the National Republican Congressional Committee’s list to help out vulnerable incumbents.
But an open seat for an already cash-strapped committee would present the GOP with another set of problems – namely, recruiting another credible candidate and ensuring a new candidate would be able to fundraise effectively from scratch.
Kuhl’s Southern Tier district gave President Bush 56 percent of the vote in 2004 – the largest margin of victory for Bush in any New York Congressional district.