Congressman Chris Gibson has seen more than his share of fighting.
For more than two decades, he served in the Army. Now, he's engaged in different kind of battle, this one against a wealthy and ambitious young Democrat named Sean Eldridge.
"He doesn't understand us because he moved here after the last election. How is it that this young man is the candidate? Well, the only explanation is, I'm willing to learn here, it seems that it's only money," said Gibson.
Coming from Gibson, those words are jarring.
For the last four years, the Hudson Valley Republican has played the nice guy role and kept to a tightly-written script that casts him as a problem-solving moderate. In fact, as he campaigns across his swing district.
He puts a positive spin on the current state of Congress.
"There's a tendency to focus on the negativity, the divide, the gridlock, when we have a series of important legislation that's going to positively impact upstate New York that we've actually enacted," said Gibson.
From a campaign perspective, Gibson has had a good summer here. A union-backed poll conducted in July showed Gibson leading Eldridge by nearly 30 points. But keep in mind both sides expect the contest to tighten come this fall.
Gibson's effort has been helped by hundreds of thousands of dollars from the U-S Chamber of Commerce.
And a pricey ad buy from an environmental group.Despite the fact that Democrats claim Gibson isn't moderate on the environment or other issues. Gibson, of course disagrees.
And on the polarizing issue of immigration, for instance, he wants to show he's staking out a middle ground. He supports giving green cards to undocumented immigrants, provided they first plead guilty to a misdemeanor.