New district brings different GOP name

A current Congressman from Erie County is now looking to represent Chautauqua County next year in the House of Representatives.

Late Friday, Judge Patrick McAllister formally approved new congressional maps in the state after the Democratic maps submitted had been rejected as too partisan. Local officials received copies after midnight.

The new 23rd Congressional District includes the majority of Erie County outside the city of Buffalo. The district includes all of Chautauqua, Cattaraugus counties and stretches along the Southern Tier to Elmira.

Over the weekend, Rep. Chris Jacobs, R-Orchard Park, announced his intention to run for the newly drawn district. “Serving Western New York for the past two years has been an honor, it is my home, and we value freedom, family, national security, and fiscal responsibility. With this in mind and after much consideration, I am announcing my candidacy to run in the newly drawn 23rd district. NY-23 shares these conservative values. They draw across county lines and connect cities, towns, and villages throughout the region. Many of these communities I have been honored to represent in Congress and previously in the New York State Senate and as Erie County Clerk. I look forward to getting to know new communities throughout the Southern Tier, and I am committed to being out and about in each and every community, continuing my track record of working effectively with localities,” he said on his website.

Previously Rep. Claudia Tenney had expressed interest in running for the district, which had been held by Rep. Tom Reed. The Chautauqua County GOP was one of many counties in the district to announce their support for her. However, over the weekend Tenney announced she was a candidate for the 24h Congressional District, which stretches from Niagara County and includes a number of counties directly above the Southern Tier.

Reed resigned from office on May 10. Because he left office before July 1, Gov. Kathy Hochul is required to call for a special election to fill his seat, even though the district will change beginning in January. Chautauqua County Republican Election Commissioner said in an interview Monday his office has not been given a date for a special election.

According to Reed’s former spokesperson Frank Acomb, a letter of Reed’s resignation was sent by postal mail on May 10. Abram, however, said he was told the governor is still waiting to receive that documentation.

Other Republicans who have expressed interest in running include Conservative Republican business owner and Fredonia native Marc Cenedella and Joe Sempolinski, the chairman of the Steuben County Republican Committee and a former Reed staff member. Before the new maps were released Friday night, Dunkirk-Fredonia native George Burns, Fredonia resident Thomas Carle and Richard Moon had also expressed interest in running.

State Sen. George Borrello, R-Irving, said previously he was considering a run for the district. After Jacobs announced his intention to run, Borrello announced his support for the Orchard Park congressman. “I am proud to offer my strongest support of Congressman Chris Jacobs’ candidacy for the new 23rd Congressional District. During my first year in the state Senate, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to work with him on issues of critical importance including public safety, economic development, tax relief and infrastructure investment in Western New York. Throughout his career in public service, he has been a tireless advocate for his constituents and a champion for the free-market, common-sense policies that we need to revitalize our state and reverse the outmigration of our families and opportunities. I look forward to his strong partnership as we stand up for the values of Western New York and the Southern Tier,” he said in a news release.

On the Democratic side, Max Della Pia has announced his candidacy. A retired Air Force colonel who also worked five years for Lockheed Martin, Della Pia has practiced law as a defense attorney, owned his own practice, and worked in the US Senate as a Brookings Fellow/Military Legislative Assistant on Senator Carl Levin’s personal staff and as an Air Force Senate Liaison Officer for the Secretary and Chief of Staff of the Air Force. After retiring from the military in 2008, he worked for Lockheed Corp. (Lockheed) as a business development analyst senior staff. Since 2018, he has served as chair of the Tioga County Democratic Committee. He is a member of the Democratic Rural Conference Board, and he is the DRC Vice-Chair Central representing DRC members from Broome, Cayuga, Chemung, Chenango, Cortland, Madison, Oneida, Oswego, Schuyler, Seneca, Tioga and Tompkins counties.

Della Pia ran in a Democratic primary in 2018 but lost to Tracy Mitrano.

According to Abram, petitions to be on the Aug. 23 primary are to be filed June 8-10. June 13 is the last day to accept or decline a nomination to be on the ballot that day.


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