PLATTSBURGH — Watertown businessman Matt Doheny plans to run again next year for the 23rd Congressional District seat held by Plattsburgh Democrat Bill Owens.
But the big question is whether there will even be a 23rd District in 2012.
The 2010 Census showed a loss of population in New York, meaning that the number of congressional seats will drop from 29 to 27. The districts will be redrawn before the 2012 election, and each district needs to add more people.
The 23rd District covers 11 counties, from Lake Ontario in the west to Lake Champlain in the east. It is the fifth-largest district east of the Mississippi River.
With redistricting, the 23rd will need about 53,000 more people.
Although he has not officially announced his candidacy for the race, which is 18 months away, Doheny showed he is giving it serious consideration by hiring former Watertown Times journalist Jude Seymour as his deputy campaign manager and spokesman.
"Jude is a good journalist, and he understands what needs to be done from a communication perspective, and he will be a huge help for getting our message out," Doheny said.
"And he understands who the players are and what the issues are nationally and locally."
Doheny said he wanted to bring Seymour on board early to give him time to get used to his new role.
"The election is still 18 months way, so there's time for a learning curve," Doheny said.
Seymour said he was curious to see "what transpires on the other side of the proverbial curtain."
"I've always enjoyed covering the machinations of candidates on the campaign trail, but it's always felt like commenting on a chess game in which I was only privy to seeing half the moves."
Seymour, 31, worked as a political journalist for the Watertown Times and most recently for WWNY-TV 7.