House: Upstate New York Republican to Retire
Boehlert's decision comes as little surprise, as he has long been rumored to be considering a departure from the House. Democrats are hoping to coalesce around Oneida County District Attorney Michael Arcuri, but he may not have the September primary field to himself. Republicans are also likely to have a primary for their nomination, with state Sen. Raymond Meier the leading name in the immediate aftermath of Boehlert's decision.
The 24th District, which includes the towns of Utica and Rome (both of which are in Oneida County), should be competitive between the two parties. President George W. Bush won it with 53 percent in 2004; prior to the 2001 redistricting, Al Gore carried it narrowly over Bush in 2000.
Boehlert is the 26th member of the 109th Congress to announce his retirement. Seventeen are Republicans compared to nine Democrats. At a press briefing Thursday, National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Tom Reynolds (N.Y.) said he wanted "members to stay put and enjoy a Republican majority." Reynolds added, however, that he "expects a couple more" retirements before November.
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