The Hill’s 50 races to watch


New York 27th District

Kathy Hochul (D) vs Chris Collins (R)

Republicans want to regain this seat, which Rep. Kathy Hochul (D) won in a special election after Rep. Chris Lee (R) resigned.

It was a GOP-leaning district when Hochul won it, and the redistricting process has made it even more conservative. Hochul won the May 2011 special election by running against the Republican budget plan — specifically its Medicare provisions — written by now-vice presidential nominee Paul RyanPaul RyanRyan reminds lawmakers to be on time for votes Lawmakers consider new security funding in wake of shooting Paul Ryan: ‘Beautiful day’ to catch up with Bono MORE.

She’s campaigning on that subject again while her GOP opponent, Chris Collins, has pushed a message focused on jobs.

Both parties have brought in the money and the big names: Former Vice President Gore and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) fundraised for Hochul, while House Speaker John BoehnerJohn BoehnerRyan reminds lawmakers to be on time for votes Juan Williams: GOP fumbles on healthcare The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE (R-Ohio) came to the district to campaign for Collins.

To show her independence to her constituents, Hochul has bucked her party on several votes during her tenure.

Meanwhile, Collins, a former county executive, has had some past controversies come up in this contest. One that got a lot of national attention was his comparison of the Jewish speaker of the New York State Assembly to Adolf Hitler, which led to a public apology in 2009.

The Hill rates this race as a toss-up.