Most tea party primary challenges to GOP incumbents in Congress are sure losers, largely because the tea party candidates have little political experience, no name recognition, and no money.
Tenney and Hanna were both elected to their current jobs in the big tea party year, 2010. Tenney says she's running because Hanna betrayed basic tea party principles by voting twice to increase the debt limit (and avoid a first-ever default); she also does not like that Hanna is moderate on the social issues that concern the GOP base -- abortion and gay equality.
Tenney is no dittohead yahoo, and may well win both the primary and the general.
Tenney is a lawyer, and is quite articulate from what I've heard on Fred Dicker's radio show, where she's been a frequent guest.
She has lots of political experience -- two terms in the Assembly, six years as chief of staff and legal counsel to her Assembly predecessor, and "has deep political roots":
Her late father, John Tenney, was a state Supreme Court justice and Oneida County Republican chairman, and her grandfather was chairman of the Madison County GOP and a state party leader.Her family has money -- they own a weekly pennysaver chain and printing business, both of which have helpfully put her in contact with hundreds of local business owners who give to politicians, for more money.
The GOP base is likely to turn out, even for an uncustomary June primary, to nominate and elect a tea party champion who announced her campaign while "waving a tea party banner."
Tenney will appeal to the gun nut part of the base because she voted against the SAFE Act (Gov. Cuomo's omnibus gun control bill that has enraged the NRA dittoheads). Tenney will appeal to the anti-choice and anti-gay parts of the base because she's doctrinaire conservative on those issues and Hanna is not.
On the minus side for Tenney, Hanna is the incumbent and has money too.
Her Assembly District is only partly in NY-22, maybe as little as 20 percent. In most of NY-22, she has little name recognition.
There is, so far, no sign that national funders of tea party primary challengers are interested in NY-22.
Hanna beat a tea party primary challenger by more than 2-1 in 2012.
On the Democratic side, we lost this one (with Dan Lamb, an aide to former Congressman Maurice Hinchey, who had represented the southern part of the new NY-22) by 3-2 in a year when Obama did well in NY.
Perhaps because of that, Charlie Cook has rated this R+3 district as "Solid Republican."
But Cook presumes Hanna as the candidate, and sees no viable Democrat challenger out there.
The very real possibility that Hanna could lose this primary to a tea partier will certainly encourage viable Democrats (electeds or others) to give this race another look.
NY-22 would be an unlikely Dem win this year, but it's a little more possible if a nasty GOP primary bloodies their ultimate nominee.