The working conservative majority thesis implies that we must convert or defeat conservative Democrats in vulnerable districts. One such politician is Brian Higgins in New York's 27th. There's an overwhelming Democratic registration advantage in the district, with 207,734 Democrats to 123,544 Republicans, and Gore beat Bush in 2000 by 14 points. It's a district that encompasses a good deal of Buffalo and some of its suburbs, and Higgins comes from a labor background, which fits the district well. The AFL-CIO pushed him over the top in 2004, one of the few pickups for Democrats that year, and he enjoyed very strong support from the New York Democratic Party in a crowded primary.
As a politician, Higgins lives on local pork and a DLC voting record. He's a member of the New Democrat coalition, he voted for the FISA wiretapping expansion, and he voted for the Bankruptcy Bill in 2005. His instincts lean hawkish, but he can be pushed around by House leadership. Higgins looks to me like a young local politician with familial roots in the district, but no particular aptitude to lead. He's one of the least powerful House members in the New York delegation, with little understanding of what leading in Congress means.
He's not a bad guy, but he is one of 41 Democrats that voted to shred the Constitution. These are my initial impressions from calling around and doing some Google-ing.
New Yorkers, please feel free to chime in. I could be reading this wrong.
UPDATE: Rochester Turning has more.