There’s one less candidate in the race for New York’s 27th Congressional district.
Republican Rob Ortt confirmed Tuesday he’s dropping out of the contest. He will instead turn his focus back to running for re-election in the 62nd state Senate district.
Republican party chairs in the congressional district have already endorsed another current state Senator, Chris Jacobs, as their candidate. Monday, Governor Andrew Cuomo officially called the special election for April 28, giving parties 10 days to officially certify their nominations.
The seat was vacated by now-convicted former Congressman Chris Collins in the fall, ahead of his insider trading guilty plea. Attorney Beth Parlato and Erie County Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw have indicated they plan to challenge Jacobs in a June primary, despite not receiving the endorsement for the April special.
Democrat Nate McMurray, who challenged Collins in 2018, has the support of the Democratic party chairs and is expected to get the official nomination for the special election soon. Libertarian Duane Whitmer also expects to represent his party on the ballot.
Ortt's decision will likely be welcomed by the state Senate GOP, already in the minority and with a slew of incumbents choosing not to seek re-election this year.
Candidates for office can begin circulating petitions to get on the ballot starting February 25. While it is not unheard of for a candidate to carry petitions for multiple seats, it is obviously more difficult.