GOP budget, Medicare plan influence NY House race

By BETH FOUHY | May 14, 2011 | 3:13 AM EDT

CLARENCE CENTER, N.Y. (AP) — The special election to fill a House seat in upstate New York was supposed to be an easy victory for Republicans.

But less than two weeks before the May 24 vote, polls show a competitive contest between Republican Jane Corwin and Democrat Kathy Hochul in what's become the first electoral test of GOP budget policies.

The race also has drawn an avalanche of spending by interest groups, as well as both national parties.

A TV ad for Hochul (HOE-cul) says: Corwin said she would vote for the 2012 Republican budget that would essentially end Medicare. Corwin hits back in her ad, saying Hochul refuses to tell her plan to cut the deficit.

The 26th congressional district spans the suburban and rural communities between Rochester and Buffalo.