BY JOHN ANDERSON, photo courtesy of WKBW
Many experts felt Nick Langworthy did not have a chance to beat Carl Paladino for the Republican nomination for the 23rd Congressional District which includes Wellsville, Hornell and the Southern Tier.
In his last last before the primary, Langworthy held town hall events in Wellsville and Cuba as well as other areas in the Southern Tier. A small part of the district is in Erie and Niagara counties. Paladino signs were seen all over those counties, a lot in towns he was not on the ballot. Signs were also in Wyoming County, where Paladino is not on the ballot.
However, the counties of Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, Allegany, Steuben, Schuyler, Ontario, Yates, Seneca, Wayne and Cayuga and Chemung are on the ballot.
When primary night was wrapping up, Langworthy shouted to his supporters, “Tonight the Southern Tier made me the comeback kid!”
Paladino eventually conceded to Langworthy, as Langworthy received 53 percent of the vote. The only thing holding things up from Tuesday was Allegany County not reporting numbers online. Paladino’s camp also said Allegany County had problems with reporting districts and pointed out 0 of 29 voting districts were reporting. The board of elections had the exact and correct numbers, but they were not posted, and the state knew the numbers as well. But Paladino used that as he did not concede Tuesday. Allegany County Legislators had to wait in November for results as well for a few hours, and it wasn’t a big deal. This time, the numbers issue made national news.
Langworthy trusted the numbers in Allegany County and did not even bring it up Tuesday night. He knew the Southern Tier carried him to victory when polls closed and even after Paladino conceded.
“This is an overwhelming victory to the hours and miles on the road. It was a short campaign, but a campaign about ideas and about the brand of leadership we need for Western New York and the Southern Tier,” Langworthy said. “I learned a lot of values growing up in the Southern Tier. One was when you confront a bully, you punch them in the face and you take them down a peg and they won’t mess with you again. We did that here in this district tonight. And we sent a loud and clear message that people want decent, stable, honest conservative Republican leadership.”
Paladino made national headlines for a few statements. On Wednesday, the lead-in for Rolling Stone’s coverage said, “Hitler-praising Republican Carl Paladino lost his bid for a congressional seat representing New York’s 23rd district Tuesday after being bested by opponent Nick Langworthy — but only by a small margin.”
The headline was, “Republican Who Praised Hitler Somehow Loses Congressional Primary” and the subheadline was “Carl Paladino’s campaign was so scandalous that not even endorsements from big-name Republicans like Reps. Elise Stefanik and Marjorie Taylor Greene could save him.”
The magazine explained, “The race drew national attention as Paladino, a businessman and former candidate to become New York’s governor, drew praise from the MAGA wing of the Republican Party, landing endorsements from conspiracy theorists like Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) and Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), but also Rep. Elise Sefanik (R-N.Y.), the third-ranking Republican in the House of Representatives.”
In a statement, Paladino said, “It is time to move onto the next chapter of my life. I am truly blessed with the greatest family and friends in the world. Western New York is my home, and I am humbled by the voters who turned out to support me. My story is proof that the American dream is possible.”
Paladino is a developer who once ran for governor while Langworthy has moved up the ranks, serving as New York State Republican Chairman.
During his visit in Wellsville, Langworthy said, “We need to get real about saving American jobs. President Trump reattached us to our working class roots. I’m told I can’t get a car for six months because we don’t make enough chips in the U.S. Why do we let critical infrastructure like that get housed in the Far East?”
Next up, Langworthy will face Democrat Max Della Pia in the general election for Congress. Even Della Pia has heard the victory will be an easy one for Republicans.
In a Wellsville and Hornell Sun story Tuesday, Della Pia said, “It’s hard to write a concession when I don’t feel as if I’ve lost. My campaign was written off by every pollster across the country as a guaranteed Republican blow-out. Trump won the district by 15 points in 2016 and 11 points in 2020. Paladino and Langworthy spent millions of dollars to get out the vote between their campaigns and their dark money supporters.
“To get within 5% or 6% shows the strength of my campaign. It’s clear voters are tired of the hyper-partisanship in Congress. They value a candidate who is looking to find common ground. That’s why the Post-Journal, the Buffalo News, and the Dunkirk Observer Editorial Boards endorsed my candidacy. These results show the Midterm Election, in November, in the New NY23 is winnable and our momentum is not going to stop. This was an energizing experience, getting out the vote for November starts today,” Della Pia added.
Langworthy’s Wellsville visit:
Della Pia’s statement: