Gov. Kathy Hochul’s selection of Rep. Antonio Delgado to replace Brian Benjamin as lieutenant governor carries major implications for the 19th Congressional District in Upstate New York.

Delgado, a two-term congressman who represents parts of the Hudson Valley and Capital Region, was expected to face Republican Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro, but Tuesday's announcement by the governor scrambles that race for the House seat.

In an interview on Tuesday, Molinaro said he was confident about getting elected congressman, even if there's still the question of who he will face in a district that usually produces tight contests.

“We are 100% focused on earning the votes of the families and the individuals in the 19th Congressional District,” Molinaro said. The Republican wished Delgado well in his new role as lieutenant governor.

Delgado’s departure from the 19th Congressional District race is a seismic shakeup in one of the most closely watched races in the country, the outcome of which could determine whether Democrats maintain power in the House or Republicans take over.

Molinaro said he likes his chances at victory.

“We were full steam ahead...I believe we are going to win the 19th Congressional District,” he said.

Democrats are preparing for a fight. There were already names coming to the forefront of who could be the Democratic candidate in the 19th.

Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan, who placed second behind Delgado in the Democratic Party primary for the district in 2018, is rumored as a possible contender. Shortly after Hochul’s announcement, Ryan tweeted that he’s “seriously considering how best to continue serving (the) community and constituents,” adding, “stay tuned.”

However, there could be another Democratic challenger interested in running for the seat. Sources say state Senator Michelle Hinchey is also seriously considering a run for Congress.

The special election in the district is expected to be called in the coming weeks.

Benjamin resigned last month following his arrest and arraignment in connection with a campaign finance investigation.

New York is currently redrawing its congressional districts after a Steuben County judge tossed previously approved maps. Before the judge's decision, the seat Molinaro is seeking would have covered parts of the Hudson Valley, Mohawk Valley and Southern Tier. State Democrats have until mid-May to draw new lines.

Molinaro was the 2018 GOP nominee for the governor's office, losing to now-former Gov. Andrew Cuomo. He was re-elected as county executive a year later.