Poll: O'Brien leads Hanna in 55th State Senate District race
Posted at: 11/02/2012 6:53 AM
| Updated at: 11/02/2012 6:38 PM
By: Ray Levato | WHEC.com
It has been one of the nastiest campaigns this season and on Friday, the two candidates running to succeed Jim Alesi in the state senate sparred in a radio debate.
Democrat Ted O’Brien and Republican Sean Hanna traded barbs for almost an hour. The debate came on a day when a new poll shows a flip flop from a poll taken a month ago. The Siena poll says O’Brien ,who trailed Hanna by eight points in early October now leads 50-to-39 percent.
Call it feisty. call it spirited. Whichever word you use, there were fireworks at Friday's radio debate between the two. County legislator Ted O’Brien, a former Monroe County Democratic Chairman. and
Sean Hanna, a State Assemblyman from a prominent Republican family.
Sitting next to each other, the two candidates went head-to-head on a number of issues including the negative campaigning that has attracted a lot of attention to this race.
Sean Hanna, (R) 55th NYS Senate Candidate, said, “You stood up at a podium with Joe Morelle and made allegations that my campaign was making harassing phone calls to people, and you did that without a shred of evidence.”
Ted O'Brien, (D) 55th NYS Senate Candidate, said, “I did not say that.”
Hanna said, “Excuse me. The Fair Campaign Commission said that was false and misleading, but it was something your campaign undertook nevertheless.”
You've probably seen the TV ads. One accusing O’Brien of supporting a judge accused of sexual harassment and one accusing Hanna of having attitudes against women.
O’Brien said, “ I've only run a commercial for a couple of weeks and you've run commercials since august. You're trying to buy an election, i understand that. But just because we have different funding resources isn't the issue. And about the harassing phone calls.”
Hanna said, “My commercials have been positive. I have run positive commercials every single day.
O’Brien said, “I'm here to tell you my campaign was not responsible for those harassing phone calls. Everybody in this community knows what i was subjected to. They've been running for months pounding the airwaves with negative attacks on me. And my young children have to talk with their classmates who say why is your father a bad guy. It was completely nasty, completely unfair and that's why i think we're seeing and people are seeing a bounce in the polls.”
After the debate, O’Brien said the attacks on him are resonating with voters. While Hanna discounted the latest poll.
O’Brien said, “i think we've finally broken through in getting people to understand what's important to people in this district.”
Hanna said, “This race has been tracked very closely, at both the state and local level. The poll you're referencing doesn't even resemble what we're looking at.”
News10NBC asked Hanna if he felt the same way after the first poll showed him leading and his answer was it doesn't make any difference what the polls say.
Click here to see the entire poll