BUFFALO, N.Y. -- In 2022, Republican U.S. Rep. Claudia Tenney defeated primary challenger Mario Fratto with 53% of the vote.

However, Fratto, who garnered 40% of the vote in a three-way competition and changed races following a redistricting lawsuit, believes he can do better this year.

"Instead of 90 days, we started back in October, so we have nine months. We've already run in the district and got over 40% of the voters. We feel like the energy on the ground is really good. We're doing events every day and there's more and more people," Fratto said. "They're excited."

Fratto, a Geneva attorney who said he is currently managing his father's granite business, is again at a financial disadvantage. He's raised roughly $500,000 this cycle, mostly from a personal loan, compared to Tenney's more than $2 million. The incumbent has publicly questioned her challenger's policy positions, motivations, and personal and campaign finances.

"All of these are really sketchy and we're talking about the national debt and dealing with a district with 14 counties, so complex with all of these different issues, dealing with all the taxation that we have, regulations that we face, the complexities of running a business, I just don't think he's a serious or credible candidate," Tenney said.

Fratto is positioning himself as a candidate to the political right of Tenney. He called into question votes she's taken on immigration, transgender rights and funding for Planned Parenthood, among other things.

"I just think she's way to my left," Fratto said. "If it's considered far right to not want men and women's bathrooms and want a secure border and support traditional values or marriage, if that's really far right, then I embrace that."

Tenney said her conservative bona fides speak for themselves, including being one of the original founders of the Northern Border Security Caucus, and championing a bill to end taxpayer-funded gender reassignment surgery and another to prohibit biological males from competing in women's sports. The attorney and former state assemblymember, who also ran a family newspaper group and pharmaceutical printing and packaging company, has the endorsements of Donald Trump, House Speaker Mike Johnson and Freedom Caucus founding member Jim Jordan, among others.

"I'm the only member of Congress still out of all, including the Senate, that explains every vote that I take on the House floor. I weigh in on every issue. I don't wait to see which way the wind blows," Tenney said.

The 24th Congressional District is widely considered a safe Republican district. It spans a large geographic area including Watertown in the North Country and Lockport in Niagara County.