How New York's GOP chair defeated Republican opponents Stefanik, Paladino, and others
Stefanik personally counseled the real estate developer's unsuccessful quest for Congress while also endorsing lightning-rod challenger Carl Paladino and sending her closest aides to the district in Western New York.
Albany, New York The district that Rep. Elise Stefanik represents is on the other side of the state from the newly created 23rd congressional district in New York. But despite her best efforts, she was unable to influence the results of the Republican primary there on Tuesday.
Stefanik not only supported Buffalo developer Carl Paladino, one of the most divisive individuals in contemporary New York politics. She also sent some of her most reliable assistants to the Western New York district to directly counsel the candidate.
According to a Republican acquainted with their conversations, Stefanik was encouraged to support Paladino by former President Donald Trump, which was helpful. The fact that Paladino had backed some of Stefanik's prior campaigns, even before she rose to the position of third-ranking Republican in the House, was undoubtedly beneficial. The Republican stated that Elise places a high value on loyalty.
She also seems to have been motivated by her ongoing conflict with Nick Langworthy, the state GOP chairman, who ultimately won the primary. Local authorities also took notice. On Wednesday, some said that Stefanik's decision to support Paladino over Langworthy was the direct result of long-standing animosities and not a calculated political move for the benefit of the party.
According to Rodney Strange, a Chemung County politician and former county GOP chair who supported Langworthy, "she was attempting to get back at Nick for things that had nothing to do with this campaign – personal reasons."
Stefanik's failure to comply could not harm her reputation in Washington, where she has established herself as a powerful far-right figure who is fiercely devoted to Trump. It might give her a smaller role in New York, where Langworthy has influence and a more moderate section of the party backing him, especially when it comes to choosing a new head for the state party.
Stefanik also spent a significant amount of time campaigning for Republican Marc Molinaro, who lost a special election to fill the remaining vacancy in a Hudson Valley congressional seat.
Some local officials in the 23rd district, which includes Buffalo's suburbs and much of New York's Southern Tier border with Pennsylvania, were not pleased with Stefanik's decision to run for office. Some people claimed that it may have backfired with voters before the main election by exposing them to one of their party's more extremist members.
Dwight "Mike" Healy, the chair of the Allegany County GOP, expressed his "extreme disappointment" with her stand on the campaign. "There's no doubt it wasn't in our district's best interest."
One Republican who has participated in numerous local Republican elections claimed that Stefanik's decision to support a candidate who few of her Washington-based colleagues thought would be a reliable addition to the delegation was a "black eye" on her leadership. Adolf Hitler was once referred to as "the kind of leader we need" by Paladino.
Senior advisor to Stefanik Alex deGrasse cited the congresswoman's longtime friendship with Paladino in a statement and reaffirmed her staunch support for him "in this extremely close election." But he highlighted that regaining control of the House is her top objective right now.
"She looks forward to working with the whole NY Republican delegation including Nick Langworthy in the new Congress," deGrasse said in a statement. "She is the highest ranking NY Republican in Congress (and will be the longest serving in the next Congress). She is concentrated on winning as many Republican seats as possible in New York and around the nation to secure a historically significant Republican majority.
Early on Wednesday morning, Langworthy announced his victory as he gradually pulled ahead of Paladino. Following his initial defiance, Paladino later on Wednesday released a statement in which he expressed his gratitude to the electorate, Stefanik, and his other supporters "for their friendship and support" and said that it was time to "start the next chapter of my life."
Now, Langworthy is the favorite to defeat Democrat Max Della Pia in a district where Trump won 59 percent of the vote in 2020. The election is in November.
As of 2019, Langworthy has served as the state's Republican chairman. If and when he is sworn into the House of Representatives, he has pledged to resign from that position. He prioritized a Republican victory in this year's governorship throughout his term, and he worked for more than a year to secure his party's endorsement for Rep. Lee Zeldin, who won the primary in June. One factor that strained his relationship with Stefanik—who was rumored to be considering her perspective run at Albany—was his early support of Zeldin.
Since 2002, New York Republicans have not prevailed in a statewide election. In November, Zeldin will face a difficult opponent in Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul, and Langworthy has come under fire for focusing on Congress rather than the several state and municipal elections in New York that are considered to be competitive.
But he stated that he thought his task was almost finished in an interview that aired on NewsRadio WHAM 1180 on Wednesday. He claimed that he had been "brought in as a brawler to take on Andrew Cuomo and Kathy Hochul."
Langworthy told presenter Bob Lonsberry, who also endorsed his candidacy, "I hope that we have a brand-new governor in Lee Zeldin that will be able to select a chair of the party of his choice to help drive his agenda forward."
Although unusual as the second of this year's bifurcated primaries in New York, Langworthy acknowledged that Tuesday's elections do give the GOP cause for concern. For instance, many consider Pat Ryan's victory over Molinaro in the pivotal Hudson Valley swing district to be a sign of things to come in November. He claimed that anyone who predicts a "complete red tsunami" does not comprehend the amount of effort that needs to be done by Republicans.
After the Roe decision was overturned, he observed, "Democrats have more wind in their sails here the last six months – they are organizing, raising a lot of money." “Republicans have to be prepared.”
With the majority of the votes counted, Langworthy led by around 4 percentage points (52.1 percent to 47.9 percent) in the 23rd district race.
Paladino, who has made a name for himself over the past decade in and out of New York politics for his shameless use of provocative language, triumphed in the Buffalo suburbs where he is well known for being a fervent supporter of Donald Trump. The day before the voting started, Stefanik conducted a tele-rally to encourage people to vote for him.
According to Strange, the representative representing Chemung County, "Carl Paladino was going to be another Marjorie Taylor Greene if elected, and sure enough, two days before the election, she endorses him." We do not require that. We need someone who will represent us in Washington, utilize common sense, and complete the task. If Carl Paladino had been chosen, it would have been disastrous.
Requests for utilization response from the Paladino campaign were not immediately responded to.
Despite being primarily viewed as the underdog during his brief campaign, Langworthy concentrated his efforts on the Southern Tier of the state, which is located near the border with Pennsylvania, as well as the six rural counties that make up the district. Everything went his way in a big way.
Only a group of Paladino associates met with him, according to Schuyler County GOP leader Larry Jaynes, who said that Carl "didn't give us the time of day." Nick has visited this location a great deal, although I never received a call from Carl requesting time or asking for anything else regarding Schuyler County.
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