The eight Republican county chairs in New York's 27th Congressional District are asking candidate Beth Parlato to stop attacking her primary opponent Chris Jacobs.
They said her campaign advertisements could jeopardize Jacobs in his special election contest that's happening the same day. Parlato's congressional campaign has recently set its sights squarely on one of her two Republican primary opponents, Chris Jacobs, with a television commercial, direct mail and other digital efforts.
"I think she feels that that's the way she wants to campaign is to try to knock others down," Ontario County GOP Chair Trisha Turner says.
Republican chairs in the district said by running those ads, Parlato is squelching on a promise she made during the special election candidate nomination process.
"No one's ever told her to get out, not to run, just not to do something that would be destructive to a special election and she committed to that and she's broken that commitment," Turner says.
She and the seven other county chairs wrote a letter to Parlato this week asking her to stop with the attacks. Parlato said she is simply contrasting her platform against Jacobs record.
She said she gave her word to start campaigning after April 28, the previously scheduled date for the special election, but the governor since moved it to June 23, the same day as the primary.
Turner admitted the change in date has created some peculiar circumstances.
"I believe if we didn't have this special, we would not have written this letter," she says. "If this was just a full on primary, this letter wouldn't even have existed. But we have a unique situation, so there's going to be a unique response."
Jacobs' campaign said his opponent's strategy should not be a surprise since she previously attacked Rob Ortt, a Republican candidate who has since dropped out of the race.
Turner believes Jacobs will win both the special election and the primary, but said the party would still coalesce behind Parlato or Erie County Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw if either are successful.
"If she won the primary, then that's my candidate," she says. "I strongly believe whoever wins a primary, even if it wasn't someone I supported, then that's my candidate."
Democratic candidate Nate McMurray called the letter to Parlato sexist and hypocritical and said Jacobs has aired attack ads against him in this same cycle.