Nys Tom Reed Facing A Lively Re Election Battle

10.14.13 | Bob Price

Rep. Tom Reed's support for the strategy House Republican leaders have pursued in the partial shutdown of the federal government could become a defining issue for him in the next election. "I didn't come here to maintain the status quo," Reed said after a closed-door meeting at which House Republicans were updated on the continuing deadlock with Democrats. Reed's comment has become a familiar refrain highlighting his ties to the tea party wing of the GOP. Those ties are certain to be a key issue in the 2014 campaign for New York's 23rd Congressional District, which stretches from Ithaca to Jamestown along the Southern Tier and northward to part of Ontario County. Some of Reed's supporters from the Elmira-based Twin Tiers Tea Party and the Corning Area Tea Party demonstrated recently outside his district office in Corning, Steuben County. Reed's likely Democratic opponent already is hammering him on his links to such groups. "Reed is not the moderate he pretends to be when he's up in the district," said Martha Robertson, a Democrat and chairwoman of the Tompkins County Legislature, in a telephone interview. "He's responsible for this shutdown, along with the other tea party extremists." Nathan Gonzales, political editor of the nonpartisan Rothenberg Political Report, thinks it's too early to judge whether Reed's position on the government shutdown will be a political liability. Most GOP lawmakers represent safely Republican congressional districts. Reed's re-election race, on the other hand, will be among the 67 most competitive House races in the nation, according to the Cook Political Report.