GOP's Reynolds Doubts Anti-Incumbent Mood

Rep. Tom Reynolds

National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Rep. Tom Reynolds attends a luncheon debate at the National Press Club in Washington, Oct. 18, 2006. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Rep. Tom Reynolds, the man in charge of getting Republicans elected to Congress next Tuesday, says he doubts there's an anti-incumbent mood among voters.

Citing polls showing that most voters approve of the job their own representatives are doing, Reynolds — himself in a tight race because of his role in the Foley scandal — says Iraq is not the top campaign issue — at least not in his district.

"All politics is local, local races about the local issues," the New York Republican who chairs the National Republican Congressional Committee, tells Steve Inskeep. "The issues in my district are jobs, taxes and Social Security."

"There's only one race I'm aware of that has Iraq as the center theme, and that is [Rep.] Chris Shays' seat in Connecticut, and that's because he wants it to be the centerpiece of his campaign," Reynolds says.

Democrat Jack Davis wants Reynolds' seat in western New York.

It's a tight race largely because of the scandal involving former Rep. Mark Foley (R-FL), who is believed to have sent sexually explicit electronic messages to congressional pages. Reynolds has said he warned House Speaker Dennis Hastert about Foley in the spring of 2005.

Reynolds has apologized in campaign ads for his role in the scandal, saying, "Looking back, more should have been done, and for that, I am sorry."

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