The GOP has announced its support for State Senator Chris Jacobs in the special election for New York's 27th Congressional District.
That seat has been empty since former Congressman Chris Collins resigned this past fall.
"We’ve been without a voice for all this time," said Nick Langworthy, the chairman of the New York Republican State Committee.
County Republican chairs from the 27th district met in Wyoming County Saturday to interview all of the candidates on the ballot. They interviewed Jacobs, State Senator Robert Ortt, Jeff Freeland, Beth Parlato, and Erie County Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw. It took the group of Republican leaders 7 hours to reach the final verdict.
"Chris is a proven leader, he’s a proven winner, (and) he’s going to serve the constituents well in New York 27. He’s going to serve with dignity and he’s going to serve with honor and he’s the best candidate we have to take on this job right now," said Karl Simmeth, the chairman of the Erie County Republican Committee.
After the decision was made Saturday, Jacobs released the following statement:
“I’m honored by this opportunity and I want to thank the county chairs and my fellow candidates. Western New York needs a strong advocate in Congress who will stand with President Trump and get results for the American people. Governor Cuomo is doing all he can to hand this seat to the Democrats, but I’m prepared for the fight. I’ve got a track record of winning tough races and delivering real results for this community and we’ll win this race by focusing on strengthening the future of Western New York by creating an environment for job growth, defending our borders and preserving our shared values and ideals.”
The special election is expected to be scheduled for April 28, the same day as the presidential primary. Nate McMurray is expected to have the endorsement on the Democratic side. He lost the 2018 election to Collins by about 100 votes.
McMurray released the following statement on Facebook on Saturday:
"Hey NY27 GOP, Keep eating your own. Keep betraying each other. You deserve it. You got us in this mess. Rotten to the core. How long do you think Republican voters will continue to trust your show? I can feel the second guessing already. See my teeth yet? No. Not yet."
A tweet on the Erie County Democratic Committee Twitter page stated they'll be meeting soon to nominate a candidate to "actually represent the working families of NY27 and fight to take back our county from the extremist Trump agenda."
Republicans remain positive about the district’s future.
“Republicans will be united supporting our president, supporting our nominee for Congress, and working hard to make sure that we restore a Republican voice to this district," said Langworthy.
This special election will only fill the seat until the end of this term. Candidates will need to continue campaigning for the seat which will be re-elected in November.