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Race for the 23rd: Chris Jacobs gets endorsement from State Senator George Borrello, Steuben GOP leader Sempolinski

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Pictured, Congressman Chris Jacobs

Sempolinksi will still run in the special election

Cathy Young hasn’t shown her hand

By Andrew Harris, Michael T. Baldwin

After Erie county-based Republican Congressman Chris Jacobs announced he would be running for the “new” 23rd District, two of the other major contenders have decided to back Jacobs. Chris Jacobs won the special election for the 27th Congressional District when Chris Collins resigned in disgrace over insider-trading.

NY State Senator George Borrello will support the Jacobs bid, and Steuben County Republican Committee Chairman Joe Sempolinski put his support behind Jacobs, but with an asterisk. Sempolinski also announced he will run in the special election to complete the term of former Congressman Tom Reed.

Michael T. Baldwin reports on Borrello’s statement this morning:

Republican Congressman Chris Jacobs who represents New York’s 27th district says he plans to run for reelection. Jacobs announced his candidacy over the weekend to run for the newly drawn New York 23rd district. The redrawn District includes most of Erie County, along with all of Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, Allegany, Steuben, Chemung, and Schuyler counties. 

State Senator George Borrello issued the following statement on the news that Congressman Chris Jacobs (R-Orchard Park) will be a candidate for the new 23rd Congressional District:

“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.”

Sempolinski’s, also the GOP party boss in Steuben County, will also support Jacobs but he will run in the special election planned for this August. That election is to complete the term that Tom Reed recently abandoned. The winner of that election this summer would have status as the incumbent, which is typically a major advantage. How much of an advantage, considering the term will only last a few months, remains to be seen. His statement is below:

News from the Cathy Young camp is expected soon. Local analysts agree that considering Jacobs stronghold in Erie County, he certainly has the advantage. Should Young decide to pursue the upcoming special election, that would require the appointment by the Republican party leaders in the current 23rd Congressional District. Sempolinski is the GOP leader in Steuben County, a clear natural advantage. This scenario would require Young to find the support within the Republican party for the special election while running against Jacobs in the primary for the November general election.

Talk about complicated political calculus.

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