McCarthy vs. Becker – the race for NY's 4th congressional seat
In a year where being an outsider is the best qualification for running for office, both candidates in New York’s 4th congressional race are true insiders.
Incumbent Carolyn McCarthy (D), was first elected in 1996 when she ran for office after her husband, Dennis McCarthy, was gunned down near a local train station by an armed robber.
The nurse campaigned for gun control and won her seat in the house making history as the first Democrat since 1953 to hold the post. Since then she has fought for healthcare reform and supported the Obama Healthcare plan. Her opponent Francis Becker (R) says she will pay for that support.
“People are very unhappy with Obamacare, it is going to dramatically change how healthcare is delivered to everyone in the United States,” Becker said. Becker has served as a Nassau County Legislator since the body was established 14 years ago. As a financial advisor he believes Obama’s healthcare plans could “bankrupt the nation”.
Becker along with most Republican candidates are accusing the “[Nancy] Pelosi led house” of taxing the nation more than ever. Democrats, although expecting big loses this fall, defend their record of control during the last four years.
“For the first time since Democrats took over we have been paying for everything,” said McCarthy. “That means the war in Iraq, the war in Afghanistan, for the first time we are paying for it. We are cutting other programs that are not working and finding money for new programs and thinking for the 21st century.”
Republicans toss the Democrats defense aside, citing Obama, Pelosi and Senate leader Harry Reid as the sources of most problems – namely higher taxes.
“The Tea Party is helping Republicans right now get back to the basics – stop the spending, stop the debt, trillion dollar spending packages that don’t work…..we are all concerned,” says Becker.
One of the major critiques during a congressional race is the challenger accusing the incumbent of not being in the district as much as possible. Becker is accusing McCarthy of being out of touch with her constituents because she is not physically in the district enough. “I know that my opponents say ‘where is Carolyn McCarthy?’ Well Carolyn McCarthy is down in Washington getting the votes. I am home every weekend,” said McCarthy. “When I first ran I had to prove to people just how much I loved this district and I still do.”
Becker is trying to extend a family legacy. Becker’s grandfather, former Congressman Frank Becker, represented the 5th congressional district – which overlaps portions of the current 4th district.
“I just feel so honored to be following in his footsteps if the people of the 4th congressional district will have me.”
Photos courtesy of McCarthy and Becker campaigns.