Monday, February 25, 2008

The Tension Builds In The 48th, Election Day Tomorrow

After weeks and months of a hard campaign, the race between Darrel Aubertine and Will Barclay is down to the last full day. Tomorrow voters in the northern state Senate district will go to the polls and decide if they want to be a part of helping to make the Senate free of the corrupt Joe Bruno. With a two seat majority, the Senate Republicans are pulling out all the stops in order to hold this seat, which has been in GOP hands for a long time now. You can tell just how serious the race is when you look at the money being spent by both sides.

From The Times Union:

Both campaigns said most of their volunteers are local residents but a significant number are from Albany and elsewhere outside the district.

Aubertine has raised about $1 million and Barclay about $900,000 so far, much of it from state party campaign funds, according to the latest financial disclosures.

The parties have thrown at least $1.6 million combined into the race since January.

"It's a huge amount of money," said Russ Haven, legislative counsel for New York Public Interest Research Group, a nonpartisan organization that tracks campaign funding. "Obviously, it's about more than this individual race."

He estimates that the total amount raised by both campaigns will reach the two million dollar mark.

As T-U notes, the only election in NY state Senate history that cost more was the successful battle fought by the now Democratic Senator Craig Johnson down in Long Island. Thinking back on last February's race, this one upstate seems much uglier, most likely due to the fact that the balance of power is so much closer to swinging the other way.

With all the money involved, both sides have gone negative with ads and words hurled back and forth. After nearly $2 million spent, the local poll shows voters are split and this could be anyone's race. Although only a few thousand will end up voting in this area near Canada, the impact will be tremendous across the state.