National GOP get its picks in New York

New York state Sen. Lee Zeldin (R) and former Bush administration official Elise Stefanik have won their primaries, giving national Republicans their preferred candidates in two competitive New York House races.

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The Associated Press has called the race for both candidates. Zeldin led 2010 candidate George Demos (R) with 63 percent of the vote to 37 percent, with 78 percent of precincts reporting. And Stefanik led former nominee Matt Doheny (R) 60 percent to 40 percent, with 83 percent of precincts reporting.

Both had received national support. The American Action Network spent more than $200,000 on Zeldin's behalf to get him to the general election against Rep. Tim Bishop (D-N.Y.).

American Crossroads spent over $750,000 on Stefanik's behalf for a competitive seat being vacated by retiring Rep. Bill Owens (D-N.Y.). Both races could be a top targets this fall, though Doheny may still appear on the ballot on the Independence Party line. If Doheny is on the ballot, a three-way race could roil GOP plans to pick-up the seat that's vexed them twice before thanks to party splits. 

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee argues that both were forced too far to the right in their primaries, calling Stefanik's a "race to the right" and Zeldin's a "brutal and expensive race to the right" in separate statements.

Updated at 11:02 p.m. 

 

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