Let’s not sugar coat it—last night we had a tough result. Specifically, I am shocked by the margin of victory for my primary opponent.
I want to thank each and every one of you for your support, help and guidance throughout the campaign.
We worked hard—I knocked on over 2,200 doors myself—all over this vast, 12-county 21st Congressional District.
We had terrific supporters who worked hard and did everything a candidate could ask. Thank you.
My opponent Elise Stefanik worked hard. But to be clear, last night’s outcome was not determined by the efforts of our respective campaigns, hers or ours.
This election marks a new phase of American politics, a phase that will impact elections at every level with the advent of SuperPACs that may get involved in anything political—even a local Congressional primary race.
The role of local people, local supporters, and local advocacy are at risk of being greatly compromised going forward and that is troubling.
Our campaign had resources of nearly three-quarters of a million dollars—and yet in terms of ads, we were outspent by a 7 to 1 margin!
American Crossroads financed by Karl Rove, Paul Singer and allies, spent $1.5 million to tear me down and rip me apart.
Unfortunately it worked.
The results last night speak for themselves. This SuperPAC’s involvement simply changed the outcome.
For those of you who think otherwise, that somehow there is another reason why a close, competitive primary was won by twenty points, let’s look at the control case: Herkimer County.
Unlike the rest of this Congressional District, the towns in Herkimer that are in the 21st Congressional District do not get television from Albany, Platts-burgh or Watertown.
They are covered in the Utica market.
The SuperPACs and American Crossroads did not spend any money on Utica television.
Residents in Herkimer County did not see any of their negative commercials.
The result—I won Herkimer County by a couple points in a close race.
The facts speak for themselves.
As I said last night, if you are thinking of running for office—especially an office of any significance—you simply cannot run until you understand what these national or local SuperPACs intentions are, and what they will or won’t do in your race.
We will try to move forward and put this tough loss in context and behind us.
In each of the three losses, unique factors tripped us up.
In 2010, Doug Hoffman siphoned off the margin of victory.
In 2012, Presi-dent Obama winning this district by 6.5% was a head-wind we almost overcame but couldn’t quite cross the goal line.
And now in 2014, billionaires want my primary opponent in Congress and funded Karl Rove and affiliated SuperPACs to attack me with $1.5 million on television.
Each race has been tough and challenging.
As we evaluate our future plans, Mary & I want to thank you all again from the bottom of our hearts for your support, love and help.
Please come and visit us in Alex Bay this summer—our door is always open.
In fact, we are excited that our son Declan is celebrating his first birthday on Sunday!
Hope you enjoy the summer and until we speak again, best wishes.
—Matt Doheny, Watertown