The New York Congressional races include eight competitive contests stretching from Eastern Long Island to Western New York.
These races could prove pivotal as Democrats embark on an uphill effort to win the 17 seats needed to regain control of the House of Representatives.
When Sean Patrick Maloney travels around the Hudson Valley, it often appears he's trying to play the role of mayor. For a first-term congressman attempting to build name recognition in a moderate swing district, it’s a smart strategy.
Maloney has no choice but to crisscross this district. He's up against Nan Hayworth, the woman who used to hold this seat until Maloney ousted her in 2012.
For the last 20 months, Maloney has attempted to portray himself as a problem-solving moderate who is nothing like the person he replaced.
"I'm a Bill Clinton Democrat. That's my playbook. Her playbook is this tea party playbook of pitting one group against the other," said Maloney.
Maloney's office points to his work with Republicans and votes he's taken in support of GOP-sponsored bills. Yet for all the smart politics, there have been some missteps. His wedding video, which he has since been pulled from YouTube, features footage shot from a drone opening him up to attacks from Hayworth that he broke FAA rules.
Maloney suggests the criticism is rooted less in policy and more in trying to remind voters he's gay.
"Think how bankrupt of ideas her campaign has to be that that her number one issue seems to be the fact that I got married. Better question would be: why she still supports discrimination against people in the states where marriage is not allowed, where not everyone is equal," said Maloney.
For now, Maloney is trying to put that all behind him.
Cook Political Report suggests he has the edge, classifying the race as lean democratic.
His staff, trying to capitalize on that, is already out in full force trying to sell the party insider as an outsider who wants to get things done.