The district covers much of New York State, with about half the population living in the suburbs of Buffalo. It extends from the city limits of Buffalo to the city limits of Rochester. It was once a safe Republican seat, but retiring Representative, Tom Reynolds, held on to it with 52% of the vote in 2006. In 2002 he won with 74%!. Some argue that he was saved last time only by a freak snowstorm in October 2006, that allowed him to show to his constituents how much clout he had nationally by gaining disaster aid. Reynolds was Chair of the National Republican Congressional Committee.
Buffalo lawyer, Alice Kryzan will fight the seat for the Democrats - http://www.kryzanforcongress.com/ against Republican businessman Chris Lee - http://www.chrisleeforcongress.com/
In 2006 the same two candidates as in this election faced each other. The winner by 6,033 votes was "Randy" Kuhl (pronounced COOL), the Republican congressman for the district since 2004. The district itself has been held by Republicans since 1987, though Kuhl's predecessor, Amo Houghton a moderate Republican. Kuhl has a solidly conservative voting record - voting with President Bush 90% of the time in the 109th Congress. His website is http://www.kuhlforcongress.com/
Eric Massa, a Naval Officer for 24 years, is again challenging for this seat. He was Special Assistant to General Wes Clarke in both Panama and at NATO - http://www.massaforcongress.com/
The district covers the area known as "the Southern tier". It also reaches north to take in some of Rochester's suburbs. Agriculture is a major industry - particularly dairy farms and wine production. This is also an important tourist area. The largest city is Elmira (30,940). Corning is well known as the home of Corning Glass Works.