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      Congressional race heats up over rape ad, charges of pressure to drop out

      All 3 Congressional candidates in the 24th District had media events on Tuesday, with lots of charges

      Congresswoman Ann Marie Buerkle (R-24th District) came out swinging against her Democratic opponent on Tuesday, calling on Dan Maffei to withdraw the tv ad in which he accuses her of redefining rape as a way of excluding some victims for federal funding for abortion.

      "And what he did with this ad, it's wrong it's desperate, it's pathetic and it insults every woman who's been a victim of domestic violence," Buerkle announced at a media event at her Erie Boulevard campaign headquarters, in front of dozens of cheering women.

      Maffei, who met media at his Washington Street campaign headquarters, stands by his ad, saying it is part of the Congresswoman's record in office: "She co sponsored this bill very early and spoke in favor of it, so i'm just referencing part of her record. If she wants to retract those actions then it would be a diffeent story. This is not about....we're just calling attention to her record."

      Buerkle disagrees, saying "It's wrong, it's incorrect and he knows it." Her explanation: "One of the bills that circulated that was consistent with FBI definition of rape from many years ago, it was brought to our attention. We got calls to our office, we had conversations in our office. You gotta pull that language it's duplicative, rape is rape is rape. It's violent and it's violent against any victim of rape and it neds to come out and that's exactly what we did."

      Also holding a media event on Tuesday, Green Party congressional candidate Ursula Rozum, who called for voting reform and said she's resisting pressures to drop out of the race. "More than one person has asked me to drop out of this race and my answer is that I won't be dropping out," she told us. "The elections would be even more spoiled if we didn't have green candidates running for things."

      All three candidates have agreed to at least one debate, co-sponsored by NBC3 and WCNY, to air on October 24th.