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November 6, 2012

Congressional race stays hot until the very end

PLATTSBURGH — With the race for the 21 District Congressional seat too close to call, both candidates made their final campaign push Monday.

Republican challenger Matt Doheny made stops in the eastern portion of the district with former Republican New York Gov. George E. Pataki before heading to the western shores, while incumbent Democrat Bill Owens held a rally in his hometown.

“We want to make sure that people know there is a clear choice,” Doheny said, with Pataki by his side, at a stop at the Homestead Restaurant in Plattsburgh Monday morning.

“We are just asking for people to give us a chance.”

Owens said he wants to return to Congress because there is more important work to be done.

“We want to lift up the middle class, and that will lift up all other boats,” he told a crowd of supporters at his headquarters on Margaret Street Monday evening.

“That’s the most important thing we can do.”

NECK AND NECK

The latest polls showed Doheny only one point behind Owens, indicating a virtual tie in the 12-county district. Owens, who beat Doheny in a close race in 2010, had held a double-digit lead in polls in late September.

Green Party candidate Donald Hassig trails far behind, with less than 5 percent in most polls. The Green Party has distanced itself from the controversial Hassig, who has been arrested six times during the campaign, mostly for disorderly conduct as he has refused to leave public venues when asked to do so by authorities.

Last week, Hassig called for his supporters to vote for Owens.

CHANGE

Doheny, an investor from Watertown, said he believes he is gaining momentum because voters in the district are fed up with high unemployment rates, high taxes and big deficits.

“We need a change,” he said. “This is one of the races where people’s votes will actually matter.”

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