Locked in a tight re-election race, Rep. Nan Hayworth is taking no chances that she’ll be accused of going soft in her response to Sandy.

The freshman Republican congresswoman, who faces a tough challenge from Democrat Sean Patrick Maloney in the newly drawn NY-18, was criticized last year for agreeing with Republican House leaders that disaster aid for Hurricane Irene victims should be matched by spending cuts in other federal programs.

Maloney has used this incident against Hayworth during the campaign. She insists she was misquoted by the Middletown Times Herald-Record, but the paper says it stands by its reporting.

This time around, Hayworth is taking no chances.

Her office released a letter she sent to (Democratic) President Obama in support of (Democratic) Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Oct. 26 request for a federal emergency declaration in anticipation of the damage Sandy will cause.

In the letter, Hayworth enthusiastically endorsed a disaster declaration so communities “have the resources available to properly respond to the storm.”

Obama signed New York’s declaration yesterday. (The same day former President Clinton took a break from acting as Obama’s chief surrogate to rally in support of Maloney, who worked in the Clinton White House).

Hayworth Hurricane Sandy Letter to President Obama