My open letter to Nan Hayworth on losing the NYS 18th Congressional race

Dr. Hayworth,

I was very happy to hear that you made the decision to concede the election this afternoon. I was quite disturbed when your campaign manager indicated, with 100% of the precincts reporting, that you were going to wait for the recounts and absentee ballots to be counted. That left me with the dread specter of a prolonged battle to postpone the inevitable, and I must admit that I am impressed – just as I was 2 years ago when you bowed out gracefully after losing by a similarly small margin. And I sincerely do give you credit for those graceful concessions. And I thank you.

I don’t agree with Rep. Maloney on every issue, but on balance, I think he’s trying to do some good for the region, and he has actually accomplished things by working with Republicans to pass legislation during his term. I think he deserved another term, and I’m glad that he can move smoothly from his first to his second term without the distraction of a disputed election.

Perhaps, though, before you consider a third run-up against Sean Patrick Maloney, or any other opposition, you might want to reflect on the reasons why you were voted out after your first term, and why, in a district that still leans right, you lost yet again.

The simple fact is that in your two-year tenure as our Congressional Representative, you actually accomplished nothing. Perhaps in some instances, nothing is preferable to something, but in your case, not so much. You clearly aligned yourself closely to the Team Party Caucus, and unfortunately, you chose to do so at a time when the region you represented was devastated by flooding following Hurricane Irene. And then you chose to accuse the local papers of misrepresenting the comments that you had, in fact, made. And when I expressed my concerns via email prior to the disaster funding vote, I received a canned email response, was placed on your mailing list, and that was it.

So then, problem number one – you not only accomplished nothing, but you very nearly sided with those members of your caucus that were attempting to withhold disaster funds. Never a good play. People frequently have short memories, but they are seldom that short when they suffered an actual loss.

Problem number two – your campaign was actually quite dirty and more than a little juvenile (“Phony Maloney”, seriously???). I assume that since you had no actual record of your own to stand on, it seemed to make sense to criticize Maloney because his husband is rich – umm, let’s see, that would be because you are middle class and understand our concerns? The glossy mailer that your campaign sent out with the anti-immigrations rhetoric? I think that may have cost you a few votes in a region with a changing demographic. Since you seemed to have no real plans for the future, other than to be elected, you opted instead to attack. While that does work some of the time, I think it failed here.

Problem number three – The tea Party. Yes, this time out you actually tried to distance yourself, but you aligned too closely with them when you were in Congress. Since you offered up no concrete proposals that I could find, just a lot of canned conservative rhetoric, and you had no accomplishments during your own tenure in office, it was hard to trust that you wouldn’t just fall back into the extremist camp and rubber stamp whatever nonsense they intend to push through. And I suspect there’s a lot.

In closing, I’d like to say thank you, again, for conceding. And I hope that you do give some thought to finding your own voice before you run again in 2016. If you articulate an actual position, lay out some concrete proposals, and run a more thoughtful and reasoned campaign, you would probably win. Since, after all, this is still a largely Republican district.



Carol Schepper




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