This week’s announcement that Rep. Tom Reed is being challenged for his congressional seat to represent the NY23rd by another Republican throws another wrinkle in to the political scene this year.
The announcement by Gary Perry of Waverly was unexpected, but really not surprising. Rep. Reed, who originally ran as a Tea Party candidate, has been trying to be seen as moderate without upsetting the extreme right wing of his party.
In 2014 there was talk of finding some one to “primary him”, and even a Facebook page was created that followed his non-conservative stances on issues important to true conservative/tea party constituents.
With the republican presidential campaign looking into the soul of real conservatives and the emergence of Donald Trump as a leader of his unique movement, it is not surprising that the local leaders began looking for someone who could really represent the conservative base of the NY23rd Republican Party.
According to the Corning Leader article Perry labels himself as a Tea Party Candidate, a conservative, a constitutionalist, and a libertarian. Like other upset conservatives he feels that the “Do Nothing” Congress, in this case Reed, has promised a lot and produced little. He points to federal spending, national debt, illegal aliens, terrorists, drug trafficking, the Department of Education, and Common Core as issues where Reed has let him down. Those topics, and other, will likely be discussed in detail between now and the June 28 Primary.
Perry is a strong Carl Paladino fan. You can read a 2015 Facebook Article Perry wrote praising the defeated gubernatorial candidate.
Perry can get on the ballot for the republican primary by getting only 1,250 republican signatures on his nominating petitions. His supporters can begin to sign petitions on March 8, and they need to be turned into Albany between April 11 and April 14.
Perry is depending on grassroots support to defeat Reed. An important event on the campaign calendar will be the Presidential Primary on April 19. That will shows how many NY 23rd Republicans really do support Trump. If the number is high, and Trump takes the district, things could look bad for Reed in June. (Trump has already declared to CNN that “(In) Upstate New York, I’m like the most popular person that’s ever lived, virtually. Upstate New York. They are great friends of mine.”)
On the other hand this might not be so bad for Reed. He has a ton of money and the power of being the incumbent, and should easily defeat the Perry grassroots. By placing TV ads beginning in May and June the air will be saturated by his name and message all the way to November.
Ain’t politics exciting?