With a tentative date of March 31 for a special election in the 20th Congressional District in place, all parties have launched into a political blitz to capture the vacated seat in an abbreviated race.
The two front runners are Democrat Scott Murphy and Republican James Tedisco, who are both touring the district's 10 counties with vigor, stopping at restaurants, businesses and conducting an endless string of campaign office openings to stump on the issue at the forefront of every voter's mind: the economy.
Murphy, who officially kicked off his campaign a week after Tedisco with a rally on Thursday, Feb. 12, is making job creation the central plank of his platform. The Glens Falls businessman is taking credit for the creation of 1,000 jobs via his help in the development of local businesses.
He also supports President Barack Obama's $790 billion economic recovery package.
It's far from a perfect bill, but given the state of the economy, he strongly backs President Obama's call for bold and immediate relief and he supports his economic policies, said Murphy spokesman Ryan Rudominer.
In what is one of the opening direct salvos of the coming battle, the Murphy campaign has accused Tedisco of dodging questions when it comes to his position on the recovery.
Tedisco spokesman Joshua Fitzpatrick indicated the Assembly minority leader favors any effort to provide relief to Americans, but takes issue with what he calls various instances of pork that were included in the package.
"He supports any legislation that will create jobs and provide relief to middle class families," said Fitzgerald.
"This is Washington-style, Mickey-Mouse pork barrel politics at its worst," Tedisco said of the package in a press release. "Thirteen dollars of tax relief per week is a slap in the face to middle class families and small businesses that are hurting and need help."