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 Davis RyanGOP leaders pitch children's health funding in plan to avert shutdown Lawmakers see shutdown’s odds rising Fix what we’ve got and make Medicare right this year 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 Andrew BoehnerDems face hard choice for State of the Union response Even some conservatives seem open to return to earmarks Overnight Finance: Trump, lawmakers take key step to immigration deal | Trump urges Congress to bring back earmarks | Tax law poised to create windfall for states | Trump to attend Davos | Dimon walks back bitcoin criticism 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.