New York's 26th congressional district election, 2008

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New York's 26th district general election of 2008 was held on November 4, 2008. Republican businessman Christopher J. Lee (R) won the seat running against Democratic lawyer Alice Kryzan (148,607 to 109,615), even though several analysts rated the race as a toss up or leaning Democratic.[1][2][3]

Republican Nomination[edit]

Republican Chris Lee was the only candidate running for the party nomination and was endorsed by incumbent Representative Tom Reynolds.

Operatives within the party also reportedly tried to recruit several other high-profile candidates, including WIVB-TV anchor Don Postles, a registered independent, which led to Postles having to issue an on-air rejection of their efforts.

Democratic Nomination[edit]

Alice Kryzan, an environmental attorney, won the Democratic party primary election on Tuesday, September 9th, 2008. She ran against Jon Powers, an Iraq war vet and the endorsed Democratic candidate, as well as wealthy industrialist Jack Davis. The primary was notable for its large negative ad content, most heavily by self-financed Davis against Powers. Kryzan upset the conventional wisdom with a surprise win, partially on the strength of a last-minute TV ad characterizing the other two candidates as squabbling. A major selling point Kryzan used was that both of her primary rivals were former Republicans.

Powers remained on the Working Families Party ballot line despite endorsing Kryzan and attempting to get himself removed after having moved out of state. The Republican party brought a lawsuit to prevent the line from being given to Kryzan.[4] However, the presence of Powers on the ballot made no difference to the outcome of the race as the number of votes his ballot line received was much smaller than the margin of victory for Lee.


US House election, 2008: New York District 26
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Chris Lee 148,607 ~55
Democratic Alice Kryzan 109,615 ~40
Working Families Jon Powers ~5
Majority 38,992
Voter turnout 100%


  1. ^ Race Ratings Chart: House CQ Politics
  2. ^ 2008 Competitive House Race Chart The Cook Political Report, October 15, 2008
  3. ^ 2008 House Ratings The Rothenberg Political Report, October 14, 2008
  4. ^ Kryzan Gets Big Setback Hours Before Polls Open. WKBW-TV. 4 November 2008.

External links[edit]