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New York's 23rd Congressional District elections, 2014

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New York's 23rd Congressional District

General Election Date
November 4, 2014

Primary Date
June 24, 2014

Incumbent prior to election:
Tom Reed Republican Party
Tom Reed.jpg

Race Ratings
Cook Political Report: Likely R[1]

FairVote's Monopoly Politics: Lean R[2]
Sabato's Crystal Ball: Lean R[3]

New York U.S. House Elections
District 1District 2District 3District 4District 5District 6District 7District 8District 9District 10District 11District 12District 13District 14District 15District 16District 17District 18District 19District 20District 21District 22District 23District 24District 25District 26District 27

2014 U.S. Senate Elections

Flag of New York.png
The 23rd Congressional District of New York will hold an election for the U.S. House of Representatives on November 4, 2014.

New York's 23rd Congressional District is a battleground district in 2014. The Cook Political Report rates the district as "Likely Republican."[4] FairVote concurs, giving the district a rating of "Lean R."[5] Previous elections likewise reveal a Republican lean to the district, with President Barack Obama (D) losing the district by 1.2 percent in 2012 and incumbent Tom Reed (R) winning the district in the same year by a 3.6 percent margin of victory.

Although New York's 23rd is consistently rated Republican, Reed is viewed as a vulnerable incumbent. Some Republicans worry that Reed is not putting enough effort into his re-election campaign, especially since he won by such a small margin in 2012. While Reed has received more money in campaign contributions than his Democratic challenger, Martha Robertson has raised significantly more money than most candidates in their first run for a national seat. Furthermore, Reed has received the majority of his money from outside organizations and political action committees, whereas Robertson's contributions have come almost entirely from voters.[6]

Candidate Filing Deadline Primary Election General Election
April 14, 2014
June 24, 2014
November 4, 2014

Primary: New York is one of 12 states to use a strictly closed primary process, in which the selection of a party's candidates in an election is limited to registered party members.[7][8][9]

Voter registration: To vote in the federal primary, voters had to register by May 30, 2014. To vote in the state primary, voters had to register by August 15, 2014.[10]

See also: New York elections, 2014

Incumbent: Heading into the election the incumbent is Tom Reed (R), who was first elected in 2010.

New York's 23rd Congressional District is located in the southwestern portion of the state and includes Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, Allegany, Steuben, Yates, Schuyler, Seneca, Tompkins and Chemung counties and parts of Ontario and Tioga counties.[11]


General election candidates

June 24, 2014, primary results

Republican Party Republican Primary

Conservative Party Conservative Primary

Independence Party of America Independence Primary

Democratic Party Democratic Primary

Working Families Party Working Families Primary


Race background

Martha Robertson is a member of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's Jumpstart program, which is designed to provide early support to top-tier Democratic challengers.[14]

Green Party candidates

Aaron Andrew Keister submitted petitions for two potential Green Party candidates, Amber Cole and Darin Robbins, to the New York Board of Elections. However, both Cole and Robbins claimed that they had no idea that Keister was gathering petitions for them, as they had not planned to run. The New York Board of Elections subsequently disqualified Cole and Robbins from the primary. However, John Conklin, spokesperson for the New York Board of Elections, stated that Keister's actions were not illegal, and that they had actually disqualified Cole because the address on the petition was incorrect and Robbins because the signatures were submitted late.[15] Even if his actions were not strictly illegal, this calls Keister's motives into question. Keister recently received money from the New York Republican Federal Campaign Committee and he previously worked for the National Republican Congressional Committee, so there is speculation that Keister may have been working with Republican incumbent Tom Reed, attempting to add a Green candidate to the general election, which would draw away votes from his Democratic opponent, Martha Robertson.[16] Reed denied any knowledge of Keister's actions.[17]


Tom Reed

Tom Reed has been endorsed by the following:

  • The U.S. Chamber of Commerce[18]
  • The Chemung County Republican Committee[19]
  • The Seneca County Republican Committee[20]
  • The Tompkins County Republican Committee[21]
  • The Ontario County Republican Committee[22]

Martha Robertson

Martha Robertson has been endorsed by the following:


Campaign themes

Tom Reed

Tom Reed lists the following themes on his campaign website:[26]

  • Jobs/Economy: Small businesses, particularly in the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes, are the primary employers and job creators. They are the key to ensuring our economic recovery – that’s why Tom has introduced the bipartisan Revitalize American Manufacturing and Innovation Act, which creates a network of regional institutes to create jobs and make the U.S. a leader in manufacturing again, while also working to provide regulatory relief for small business.
  • National Debt: The United States is more than $17 trillion in debt. As our debt grows, so does the amount we pay in interest to the debt. Those interest payments will mean cuts to vital services and commitments if allowed to balloon out of control. Tom is fighting to balance the budget and force Washington to make responsible decisions in government spending. In 2012, Tom began an initiative to spotlight taxpayer dollars being frittered away by federal agencies. The program has highlighted more than $14 billion in waste thus far.
  • Healthcare: Obamacare is more than a broken website, it’s a failed solution to spiraling healthcare costs. It has led to cancelled insurance policies and job losses. Tom believes in a more patient-centered solution to our health care challenges that will empower patients and doctors, not insurance carriers and government bureaucrats. Tom believes in reforms that ensure all Americans, regardless of pre-existing conditions and past illnesses, get coverage at affordable prices. Tom has worked to highlight the over 700 billion dollars that was robbed from Medicare to pay for Obamacare, and believes very strongly in protecting the promise made to senior citizens.
  • 2nd Amendment: Tom believes in the fundamental right to keep and bear arms, recognized by our Founding Fathers and expressly protected by the U.S. Constitution.. The New York SAFE Act is an example of over-reach at a state level that motivates Tom at the Federal level. Tom doesn’t support the SAFE Act and will stand firmly in protecting our Second Amendment rights and fight the many one-size-fits-all proposals out of Washington.
  • Taxes: Tom is a member of the Ways and Means Committee and is fighting to enact real tax reform, and address a 70,000-page tax code that hasn’t seen comprehensive reform since 1986. Taxpayers deserve a simpler, fairer tax code that closes loopholes and puts everyone on a level playing field. Tax reform would save a typical family in the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes an average of $600 annually.
  • Veterans: Tom’s father was a decorated Army officer who served in World War II and Korea. Issues affecting our veterans are a top priority for Tom and he is committed to providing our servicemen and women, along with their families, the care they deserve. Tom has a staff member dedicated to veteran’s issues and is committed to fixing the VA to improve care and give veterans more choices when it comes to health care. The recent scandal involving systemic problems within the VA are unacceptable, and Tom will push for greater transparency and quality of care within the department.


—Tom Reed, Campaign website (archive)

Martha Robertson

Martha Robertson lists the following themes on her campaign website:[28]

  • Invest in the Middle Class: "I’m running for Congress to help break the gridlock that’s prevented America from building a stronger economy that benefits everyone. Government can’t do it alone; we must forge public/private partnerships and bipartisan alliances to address the top issues facing us: creating high-quality jobs, prioritizing education, and protecting Medicare and Social Security."
  • Jobs & Economic Development: "Martha understands that a vibrant job market is critical to all aspects of community development. That's easy to say, hard to do, but her record as a job creator proves she knows how!
    Before entering the public arena Martha started her own business, working in museum exhibit design and construction. She knows what it is like to build a business from the ground up, find customers, and meet a payroll. She will fight to keep these opportunities alive for today’s small business owners and create an environment that encourages tomorrow’s entrepreneurs as well."
  • Clean Energy and the Environment: "Martha knows that our region will be best served by strengthening our existing economic drivers including agriculture, tourism, and small businesses. She believes that we can harness our own power while creating permanent, local jobs through innovative renewable energy, efficiency, and clean tech investments and development."
  • Education for Our Future: "To Martha, a former kindergarten teacher, education is a personal mission. To this day she still believes the old saying that everything we need to know to succeed in life (and certainly in politics), we learn in kindergarten. She knows firsthand the importance of providing both teachers and students the tools they need to succeed in their respective roles."
  • Fairness and Opportunity: "Martha has wrestled with county budgets for 12 years on the Tompkins County Legislature. In most of those years the budget passed with bipartisan support, following a deliberative process involving all legislators, all department heads, and the public."
  • Our Seniors: "Martha understands that the prosperity of our community depends on the well-being of all our citizens. The elderly on fixed incomes are feeling uneasy these days as some in Congress propose to put Social Security on the chopping block. Our seniors’ livelihoods should not be subject to the vagaries of the financial markets.
    Martha will continue to fight to protect Social Security against efforts to privatize it, which would have been devastating in the recent recession."


—Martha Robertson, Campaign website (archive)

Key votes

Government affairs

HR 676

See also: Boehner's lawsuit against the Obama administration

Yea3.png On July 30, 2014, the U.S. House approved a resolution 225 to 201 to sue President Barack Obama for exceeding his constitutional authority. Five Republicans--Thomas Massie of Kentucky, Paul Broun of Georgia, Scott Garrett of New Jersey, Walter Jones of North Carolina and Steve Stockman of Texas-- voted with Democrats against the lawsuit.[29] Reed joined the other 224 Republicans in favor of the lawsuit. All Democrats voted against the resolution.[30][31]

Campaign contributions

Tom Reed

Candidates for Congress are required to file up to seven main reports with the Federal Election Commission during the 2014 elections season. Below are Reed’s reports.[32]

Tom Reed (2014) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[33]May 16, 2013$115,517.97$229,008.61$(97,935.81)$246,590.77
July Quarterly[34]July 15, 2013$246,590.77$450,719.64$(157,344.31)$539,966.10
October Quarterly[35]October 15, 2013$539,966.10$554,293.68$(182,377.52)$911,882.26
Year-End Quarterly[36]December 31, 2013$911,882$242,669$(246,548)$918,446
April Quarterly[37]April 15, 2014$918,446.68$392,247.37$(235,234.36)$1,075,459.69
Running totals

Martha Robertson

Candidates for Congress are required to file up to seven main reports with the Federal Election Commission during the 2014 elections season. Below are Robertson's reports.[38]

Martha Robertson (2014) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
July Quarterly[39]July 15, 2013$0.00$278,049.34$(30,105.48)$247,943.86
October Quarterly[40]October 15, 2013$247,943.86$175,278.16$(47,894.72)$375,327.30
Year-End[41]January 31, 2014$375,327.30$273,623.70$(89,279.64)$559,671.36
April Quarterly[42]April 15, 2014$559,671.36$330,366.06$(76,526.64)$813,510.78
Running totals


Martha Robertson

  • In October 2013, Martha Robertson released an introductory campaign ad, describing her background and her position on key issues.[43]

Robertson 2014 campaign ad

Tom Reed

  • In January 2014, Tom Reed released an internet video promoting his 2014 re-election campaign.[44]

Reed 2014 campaign ad

District history

Candidate ballot accecss
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Find detailed information on ballot access requirements in all 50 states and Washington D.C.


On November 6, 2012, Tom Reed (R) won re-election to the United States House. He ran in the 23rd District due to redistricting in 2011. He defeated Nate Shinagawa (D) in the general election.

U.S. House, New York District 23 General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngTom Reed Incumbent 49.2% 137,669
     Democratic Nate Shinagawa 45.6% 127,535
     N/A Blank/Void/Scattering 5.2% 14,592
Total Votes 279,796
Source: New York State Board of Elections "U.S. House of Representatives Results"


On November 2, 2010, Bill Owens won re-election to the United States House. He defeated Matthew Dohney (R) and Douglas Hoffman (Conservative) in the general election.[45]

U.S. House, New York District 23 General Election, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngBill Owens incumbent 45.1% 82,232
     Republican Matthew A. Doheny 44% 80,237
     Conservative Douglas L. Hoffman 5.8% 10,507
     Blank/Scattering N/A 5.2% 9,534
Total Votes 182,510

See also

External links


  1. Cook Political Report, "2014 House Race Ratings for August 8, 2014," accessed August 25, 2014
  2. FairVote's Monopoly Politics, "2014 House Projections," accessed August 25, 2014
  3. Sabato's Crystal Ball, "2014 House Races," accessed August 25, 2014
  4. The Cook Political Report, "2014 House Race Ratings for September 19, 2014," accessed October 1, 2014
  5. FairVote, "2014 Elections in New York," accessed May 26, 2014
  6. The Buffalo News, "Rep. Tom Reed faces trouble in 2014 challenge from Democrat Martha Robertson," accessed May 26, 2014
  7. National Conference of State Legislatures Website, "State Primary Election Types," accessed January 6, 2014
  8. Fair Vote, "Congressional and Presidential Primaries: Open, Closed, Semi-Closed, and 'Top Two,'" accessed January 6, 2014
  9. Ballotpedia research conducted December 26, 2013 through January 3, 2014 researching and analyzing various state websites and codes.
  10. New York Board of Elections Website, "Register to Vote," accessed January 3, 2014
  11. New York Redistricting Map, "Map," accessed September 25, 2012
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 12.5 12.6 New York Board of Elections, "Candidate Petition List," accessed April 14, 2014
  13. 13.0 13.1 Ithaca Journal, "Greens claim 'dirty tricks'," accessed May 19, 2014
  14. The Washington Post, "DCCC adds nine names to program for top recruits," September 9, 2013
  15. WHCU Radio, "Green Party alleges “predatory politics” in 23rd congressional race," accessed May 19, 2014
  16. Ithaca Journal, "Greens claim 'dirty tricks'," accessed May 19, 2014
  17. Olean Times Herald, "Reed says he know nothing about Green Party petitions," accessed May 19, 2014
  18. Tom Reed for Congress, "Release: Reed Receives US Chamber of Commerce Endorsement," accessed May 19, 2014
  19. Tom Reed for Congress, "Release: Reed Receives Chemung County Republican Committee Endorsement," accessed May 19, 2014
  20. Tom Reed for Congress, "Release: Reed Receives Seneca County Republican Committee Endorsement," accessed May 19, 2014
  21. Tom Reed for Congress, "Release: Reed Receives Tompkins County Republican Committee Endorsement," accessed May 19, 2014
  22. Tom Reed for Congress, "Release: Reed Receives Ontario County Republican Committee Endorsement," accessed May 19, 2014
  23. EMILY's List, "EMILY’s List endorses Martha Robertson for Congress," accessed May 19, 2014
  24. SNAP PAC, "SNAP PAC Endorses Martha Robertson in New York’s 23rd Congressional District," accessed May 19, 2014
  25. J Street PAC, "All Endorsed Candidates," accessed May 19, 2014
  26. Tom Reed for Congress, "Issues," accessed October 7, 2014
  27. 27.0 27.1 Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
  28. Martha Robertson for Congress, "Priorities," accessed May 19, 2014
  29. U.S. House, "House Resolution 676," accessed July 30, 2014
  30. Yahoo News, "Suing Obama: GOP-led House gives the go-ahead," accessed July 30, 2014
  31. Washington Post, "House clears way for lawsuit against Obama," accessed July 30, 2014
  32. Federal Election Commission, "Tom Reed Summary Report," accessed July 30, 2013
  33. Federal Election Commission, "Tom Reed April Quarterly," accessed July 30, 2013
  34. Federal Election Commission, "Tom Reed July Quarterly," accessed July 30, 2013
  35. Federal Election Commission, "Tom Reed October Quarterly," accessed October 28, 2013
  36. Federal Election Commission, "Tom Reed Year-End Quarterly," accessed February 13, 2014
  37. Federal Election Commission, "Tom Reed April Quarterly," accessed April 28, 2014
  38. Federal Election Commission, "Martha Robertson Summary Report," accessed April 28, 2014
  39. Federal Election Commission, "Martha Robertson July Quarterly," accessed April 28, 2014
  40. Federal Election Commission, "Martha Robertson October Quarterly," accessed April 28, 2014
  41. Federal Election Commission, "Martha Robertson Year-End," accessed April 28, 2014
  42. Federal Election Commission, "Martha Robertson April Quarterly," accessed April 28, 2014
  43. YouTube, "Meet Martha Robertson," accessed May 19, 2014
  44. YouTube, "Make a Difference," accessed May 26, 2014
  45. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010," accessed March 28, 2013