February 22, 2024
New York GOP Chairman Nick Langworthy won the Republican nomination for the state’s 23rd Congressional District on Tuesday, marking the end of a contentious primary cycle the party initially hoped would be stress-free.

New York GOP Chairman Nick Langworthy won the Republican nomination for the state’s 23rd Congressional District on Tuesday, marking the end of a contentious primary cycle the party initially hoped would be stress-free.

Langworthy announced his bid for the open seat after incumbent Rep. Chris Jacobs (R-NY) dropped his reelection campaign in June following backlash for his support of some gun restrictions. The campaign then took a turn after challenger Carl Paladino waded into the race, turning the primary into a competitive battle between two well-known conservatives for the reliably red seat. 

The 23rd Congressional District, when it comes into existence in January 2023 after redistricting scrambled New York’s political maps, will take in southern Erie County and the Southern Tier. The district is expected to lean Republican, but some in the GOP hoped to gain a comfortable lead early so the party could focus on flipping other seats in a bid to gain control of the House in November.

Both candidates were met with a fair share of criticism surrounding their campaigns over the last two months.

NEW YORK GOP CHAIRMAN TAKES HEAT FOR HOLDING POLITICAL JOB DURING HOUSE RUN

Langworthy drew intraparty criticism for holding on to his job as the state party’s chairman while running his campaign, with several claiming he neglected his primary responsibility, which is to help the state party elect Republicans, by spending a considerable amount of time on the campaign trail. As a result, several county leaders called on Langworthy to resign from his post, with others mulling legal action.

The race had already wedged a sharp divide within the party after Paladino announced his campaign. The Republican’s history of incendiary remarks has made some in the GOP uneasy.

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Paladino had apologized for remarks he made in February when he said he was impressed with how Adolf Hitler’s followers were “hypnotized” by him, prompting widespread backlash. However, the firebrand candidate garnered the support of several high-profile Republicans in the state, including Rep. Elise Stefanik, who represents a northwestern New York district and is chairwoman of the House Republican Conference.

Langworthy will face Democratic nominee Max Della Pia in November. The seat is a Republican bastion in an otherwise Democratic-dominated state, meaning the GOP primary winner is virtually assured of winning in November.

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