Top GOP Recruits In New York Decide Not To Run

In New York, the news for House Republicans -- at least on the recruitment front -- is going from bad to worse.

The party’s leading candidate for the Republican nomination in the seat of retiring Rep. James Walsh (R-N.Y.), attorney Peter Cappuccilli Jr., abruptly withdrew from the race last night because of health concerns.

Cappuccilli, who suffered a mini-stroke last year, was told by his doctor that a full-fledged campaign could risk aggravating the chance of another attack. He had previously served as director of the New York state fair, a highly-regarded political position in the Empire State.

"I do not think that it is fair to my family, my friends and supporters, the party or the residents of this district who are about to make a very important decision about their future representative in Congress, for me to continue this campaign while distracted by health concerns," Cappuccilli said in a statement.

His decision could allow other Republicans, who had previously deferred to Cappuccilli, to reconsider running.

Walsh’s seat is one of the Democrats’ top pickup opportunities. The 10-term congressman is one of only eight Republicans representing districts that John Kerry carried in the 2004 presidential race. And Democrat Dan Maffei, who narrowly lost to Walsh last election cycle, has been running for over a year and reported a healthy $439,000 cash-on-hand at the end of the year.
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