A current congressman from Erie County is now seeking to represent Chautauqua County next year in the House of Representatives.
On Friday night, Judge Patrick McAllister formally approved new congressional maps in the state after submitted Democratic maps were dismissed as too partisan. Local officials received copies after midnight.
The new 23rd congressional district includes the majority of Erie County outside of the city of Buffalo. The district includes all of Chautauqua, Cattaraugus counties and extends along the southern portion to Elmira.
Over the weekend, Rep. Chris Jacobs, R-Orchard Park, announced his intention to run for the new district. “Serving Western New York for the past two years has been an honor, this is my home and we value freedom, family, national security and fiscal responsibility. In this spirit and after careful consideration, I am announcing my candidacy to run in the newly drawn 23rd arrondissement. NY-23 shares these conservative values. They cross county lines and connect cities, towns, and villages throughout the region. I have had the honor of representing many of these communities in Congress and previously in the New York State Senate and as Erie County Clerk. I look forward to discovering new communities throughout the southern part, and I am committed to traveling to each community, continuing my experience of working effectively with localities,” he says on his website.
Previously, Rep. Claudia Tenney had expressed interest in running for the district, which was held by Rep. Tom Reed. The Chautauqua County GOP was one of many counties in the district to announce its support for him. However, over the weekend, Tenney announced that she was running for the 24-hour congressional district, which spans Niagara County and includes a number of counties directly above the southern tier.
Reed resigned from his position on May 10. Because he left office before July 1, Governor Kathy Hochul must call a special election to fill his seat, even though the district will change starting in January. The Republican Chautauqua County Election Commissioner said in an interview Monday that his office had not been given a date for a special election.
According to former Reed spokesman Frank Acomb, a resignation letter from Reed was mailed on May 10. Abram, however, said he was told the governor was still waiting to receive this documentation.
Other Republicans who have expressed an interest in running include Marc Cenedella, a conservative Republican business owner and Fredonia native, and Joe Sempolinski, chairman of the Steuben County Republican committee and a former Reed staffer. Prior to the release of the new maps on Friday evening, Dunkirk-Fredonia native George Burns, Fredonia resident Thomas Carle and Richard Moon had also expressed interest in running.
State Sen. George Borrello, R-Irving, previously said he was considering running for the district. After Jacobs announced his intention to run, Borrello announced his support for the Congressman from Orchard Park. “I am proud to offer my strongest support for Congressman Chris Jacobs’ candidacy for the new 23rd congressional district. During my first year in the State Senate, I was fortunate 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 of the common sense, free market policies we need to revitalize our state and reverse the emigration of our families and opportunities.I look forward to his strong partnership as we champion the values of western New York and the southern part”, he said in a press release.
On the Democratic side, Max Della Pia has announced his candidacy. A retired Air Force colonel who also worked for Lockheed Martin for five years, Della Pia practiced law as a defense attorney, owned his own firm and worked in the US Senate as a Brookings Fellow. /Military Legislative Assistant on the personal staff of Senator Carl Levin and as 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 Senior Business Development Analyst. Since 2018, he has served as chairman of the Tioga County Democratic Committee. He is a member of the Board of the Democratic Rural Conference and he is the DRC Central Vice President representing DRC members from Broome, Cayuga, Chemung, Chenango, Cortland, Madison, Oneida, Oswego, Schuyler, Seneca, Tioga and Tompkins.
Della Pia ran in a Democratic primary in 2018 but lost to Tracy Mitrano.
According to Abram, petitions for the Aug. 23 primary must be filed June 8-10. June 13 is the last day to accept or decline a nomination to be on the ballot that day.