Financing a run at this seat
I have been trying to wrap my head around a topic I will readily admit I am a novice at, and that would be the complexities of fund raising and by extension what it would do to a field of candidates. While I had some down time traveling this weekend I tried to venture my best guesses at two things;  what would it take for Harrison to win the nomination and DCCC backing this go around and  who is the likely candidate the DCCC is wooing with their recent talk? Tonight I am only going to try to think through #1.
1. Early announcements - Regardless of the above, one has to believe that we will see announcements made much earlier than the Dec-Feb opt out period of the last cycle. Should Mr. Harrison jump in, I have to believe the earlier his announcement the better his chances are. If he is in, I would imagine an announcement will come by April of this year.
The advantages to an early announcement for any candidate is extended media coverage (ha!) and extend fund raising periods. Additionally this will create a ripple for the rest of the field, if there is one. Unless challengers jump in shortly after they face the prospect of sitting on the sidelines and watching fund raising numbers climb. Of course the opposite could be true, should early candidates not get any traction, but that is a risky premise to rest your candidacy on.
2. Money - Barbaro pulled in around $450,000 in '04. Harrison pulled in around $110,000 in '06. Meanwhile Fossella regularly has at his disposal something in the range of $1.2 million+. With an early announcement comes the prospects of early money. And nothing will be more daunting to potential primary challengers than a money hurdle to get over. We are probably looking at a candidate needing to be on target to pull in around $500,000 to get the DCCC's support, and there is no way to do that on a 9 month campaign period, such as we had in '06.
In 2006, the DCCC's Red to Blue campaign, which would likely be where the thirteenth would be listed if it truly garners backing this term, was described as such; "One criterion the DCCC weighed in fashioning this list was that the candidates had to establish some fundraising heft on their own. That is borne out by the most recent fundraising numbers: In the first 15 months of this year, the 22 candidates had raised an average of $765,000 and still had an average of $538,000 in the bank as of March 31." [via CQ Politics]
To even be considered by the DCCC, and to presumably clear any potential field I think a candidate will need $100k by Dec 31, 2007. Of course the DCCC backing is not necessary, and on a few occasions did not deliver a victory in '06, however I think its benefits far outweigh any possible deterrents. This isn't really a crazy premise considering Dave Mejias pulled in $210k in under 2 months just 4 months before the election for his race out on Long Island.
Considering this will be a presidential election year, the benefits of early money and early media attention for this Congressional race is almost a must. This is also a district that hasn't seen a competitive Democratic primary in some time, so all this guessing could be for naught as we re-engage in this district. I welcome your thoughts if you want to share and/or correct me.
$500k would move this race from last in fund raising for Democratic challengers in '06 to second to last, ahead of just the Democratic challenger in NY-23. The three Democratic challenger victories in NY pulled in; $1.65 million for Hall (NY19), $2.63 million for Gilibrand (NY20) and $2.22 million for Arcuri (NY24). [via Open Secrets]
Another key element to an early campaign start is going to be building the volunteer and staff base. Unlike the upstate wins this past November, there are no cheap media markets in this district to saturate with tv spots. It is that support group that will allow a candidate to go on the offensive and force Fossella to form and publicly declare opinions on such issues as Bush's 'escalation' plan in Iraq. That is where the headlines will come from in my opinion.