The 20th Congressional District contains all or parts of 10 counties, holding 455,000 registered voters. Republicans outnumber Democrats, about 192,000 to 117,00. That leaves around 150,000 unaffiliated or third-party voters.
Money has been a central topic of the race in the 20th District, with the two candidates raising more than $11 million as of the middle of October. Sandy Treadwell's campaign has outspent Kirsten Gillibrand's, approximately $5.6 million to $3.6 million.
Kirsten Gillibrand is the Democrat incumbent, and will also be appearing on the Working Families Party line.
This election marks the end of her first term in Congress. She defeated John Sweeney in 2006 as the Republican became mired in a number of controversies, and captured 56 percent of the vote.
Gillibrand currently resides in Greenport with her husband and two children, aged four years and four months. Before entering political life she worked as a lawyer, earning her law degree at the University of California at Los Angeles Law School. She also worked as special counsel to the secretary of housing and urban development Andrew Cuomo during the Clinton administration.
She has been running a campaign based on her record. Gillibrand says she has made good progress for a freshman congresswoman, pointing to a 2007 farm bill that she called the best farm bill in the history of upstate New York. She also feels that she has kept in contact with her constituency, holding 50 "Congress on Your Corner" events across the district.
Like many, Gillibrand sees taxes as placing a burden on her constituents. She would be in favor of a millionaire's tax, saying that it would raise around $600 billion to provide relief for middle class families.
She was one of the few New Yorkers to have a direct say on the recent $700 billion bailout package, and she voted against both versions, saying it did not provide adequate oversight and regulation.