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3 House primaries, 1 special election on ballot for WNY Tuesday

NY-23 Republican candidates Carl Paladino and Nick Langworthy
WBFO files photos
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Carl Paladino (left) and Nick Langworthy are facing off in the GOP primary for New York's 23rd Congressional District.

Tuesday is New York state's second Primary Day of the 2022 election cycle, and there’s several relevant races to Western New York. Here’s what you need to know.

New York 23rd Congressional District Republican primary

Perhaps the most contested race is the Republican primary for the redrawn 23rd District that will soon stretch from the Southern Tier to Erie County.

Following NY-27 Congressman Chris Jacobs’ sudden decision to not seek reelection, the race will pit Buffalo real estate developer Carl Paladino and New York State GOP Chair Nick Langworthy against each other.

The former allies have both highlighted their connection to Donald Trump in social media posts, although the former president hasn’t endorsed either candidate. Paladino has instead secured endorsements from high-profile, Trump-backing congresswomen Elise Stefanik and Marjorie Taylor Greene.

Paladino is favored by some observers, despite several controversial statements. Earlier this month on Steve Bannon’s podcast, Paladino called for U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland to be executed for the raid on Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home. Paladino, who also has a history of racist remarks, has said his Garland comment was facetious.

New York 23rd Congressional District special election

There’s actually a special election being held Tuesday for the right to represent the 23rd District as it’s currently drawn for the next four months — and neither Paladino or Langworthy are running.

It’s complicated.

NY-23 Congressman Tom Reed announced last year he would seek re-election after a former lobbyist accused him of sexual misconduct. He then resigned in May to take a lobbying job, triggering a special election to fill out the remainder of his term.

Now Steuben County GOP Chair Joe Sempolinski will face off against endorsed Democrat Max Della Pia. If Sempolinski wins, he’ll serve just four months in Congress — and he’s apparently fine with that.

Regardless if Della Pia wins or loses the special election, he’ll face Paladino or Langworthy in the general election this November.

New York 26th Congressional District Democratic Primary

Up north in the redrawn 26th District, incumbent Congressman Brian Higgins faces his first Democratic primary challenge since he first ran for the seat in 2004. The challenge is coming from Buffalo contractor Emin Egriu, who has tried to run for several different offices.

New York 24th Congressional District Republican Primary

Western New Yorkers should also keep an eye east on 24th District that now includes all of Genesee and Wyoming counties, and parts of Niagara and Orleans Counties.

Current NY-22 Congresswoman Claudia Tenney is running against Mario Fratto and George Phillips in the district’s GOP primary.

New York State 61st Senate District Democratic Primary

There’s also a Democratic primary for the New York State Senate district that covers part of the City of Buffalo.

Incumbent State Sen. Sean Ryan goes against challenger Ben Carlisle, who was the other write-in candidate for Buffalo mayor last year. The race has gotten more heated recently, as Ryan has said Carlisle isn’t a true Democrat, highlighting his right-leaning views on topics like abortion, while Carlisle has called Ryan a “radical socialist.”

Tom Dinki joined WBFO in August 2019 to cover issues affecting older adults.
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