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Sean Patrick Maloney, Nan Hayworth Square Off In Rematch For Congressional Seat In Hudson Valley

SOMERS, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) -- The latest polls indicate a tightening race in the sprawling 18th Congressional District in the Hudson Valley.

Incumbent Democrat Sean Patrick Maloney is facing a rematch against Republican Nan Hayworth, the former congresswoman he unseated two years ago.

As CBS 2's Lou Young reported, Maloney received some high-profile help Monday when Hillary Rodham Clinton implored a crowd to "redouble your efforts'' to re-elect Maloney, a longtime friend who also worked as an aide to her husband, President Bill Clinton.

"The other side is trying to divert attention from the record of Sean's opponent and the agenda she is running on," Clinton said at the "Women for Maloney" rally in a Somers restaurant.

The race has been especially nasty, with a lot of negative advertising.

Hayworth's "Maloney is full of baloney" ads are part of a blitz personally financed by the Republican millionaire.

"They resonate," Hayworth said. "We want to make sure that our message gets out, that we compete successfully against the avalanche of cash coming in."

Maloney's ads attack Hayworth as a Tea Party Republican, a label she once wore proudly but now avoids.

"I am Nan," Hayworth said. "I am here for the Hudson Valley. There are no labels that hurt me."

The incument said the ubiqitous "baloney" ads don't bother him.

When asked how he would characterize them, Maloney said: "Oh, I don't know, maybe third grade or so -- but that would probably be unfair to third-graders."

The district in play covers all of Orange and Putnam counties and parts of Dutchess and Westchester. But there are national overtones in the issues.

"He has voted to support the Affordable Care Act, Obamacare, over and over again," Hayworth said.

"She wants to destroy Planned Parenthood," Maloney charged. "She wants to go after Medicare and Social Security."

Hayworth was elected to her one term in the last midterm election. Maloney won office in the general election two years ago. Both sides believe turnout will carry the day.

A Siena College poll in mid-September showed Maloney leading by eight percentage points. The Republican polling firm Public Opinion Strategies released a poll earlier this month showing Hayworth trailing by just four points.

As the race tightens, there's a possibility that third-party candidate Scott Smith could play the role of spoiler. He's a 43-year-old middle school teacher from Goshen running on his own "Mr. Smith for Congress" party line.

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