Erie County Democrats have chosen New York state Sen. Tim Kennedy to be their designated candidate in the special election for the 26th Congressional District to replace outgoing Rep. Brian Higgins.

The local Democratic committee on Thursday endorsed Kennedy, who has served in the state Legislature since 2011, representing the 63rd state Senate seat.

Rep. Higgins will leave Congress next month to take on a new role as president and CEO at Shea's Performing Arts Center in downtown Buffalo. He has not yet announced when his final day in the House of Representatives would be, but Spectrum News 1 learned Thursday he plans to leave after Feb. 2.

Gov. Kathy Hochul has to schedule a special election within 10 days from being notified of a vacancy, which then has to then take place within 80 days. It will likely take place in April, when the state's presidential primary is also scheduled for.

In special elections for Congress in New York state, local party committees choose their candidates. Former congressional candidate Nate McMurray announced on Wednesday he would seek the seat and could challenge Kennedy in a primary contest in June should Kennedy win the special election.

The Republicans have not yet designed a candidate, though the 26th District is considered a safe Democratic seat. It encompasses parts of Erie and Niagara counties and the cities of Buffalo and Niagara Falls.


Facebook Twitter