What is clearly happening on both sides is turnover: New York is losing a slew of Republican and Democratic House members this year, along with one of its 27 seats due to reapportionment. Nine House members elected in 2020 — four Republicans and five Democrats — passed up re-election, resigned or lost a primary and won’t be in office in 2023. — Scott Minkoff, a SUNY New Paltz political science professor
Chris McKenna and Chris Potter, in an article in the Elmira Star-Gazette, report that New York Republicans are moving to the right. Moderate office holders and candidates are out, extreme right candidates are in. (The article has a paywall.)
- Tom Reed, a moderate Republican and a member of the Problem Solvers Caucus, resigned after a sexual harassment scandal.
- Rep. Chris Jacobs isn’t running, after voting for firearm regulation.
- Rep. John Katko isn’t running, after voting for impeachment.
- Rep. Lee Zeldin, who voted against accepting the results of the last Presidential election, is likely to be reelected.
- Rep. Elise Stefanik, a Trump supporter, is running in a safe district.
- Rep. Claudia Tenney, a Trump supporter, currently representing NY-22, is running in a safe district, NY-24.
- Nick Langworthy, a Trump supporter, is running in a safe district, NY-23.
Potter and McKenna write:
Or consider the Republican primary race between two ardent Trump supporters that just took place in the 23rd Congressional District. Langworthy won the race on Tuesday but only by a slim margin over Carl Paladino, the verbal bomb-thrower whom Stefanik endorsed. Paladino had suggested in an interview shortly before the election that Attorney General Merrick Garland “should be executed” for authorizing the FBI’s search of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home to retrieve White House documents, though he later reportedly said he was being “facetious.”
Scott Minkoff, a SUNY New Paltz political science professor, reportedly sees New York’s Republican shift as a sign of Trump’s pull even in a blue state with a moderate GOP history. “I think a lot of New York is more like the rest of the country than some people thought,” he said.
In my view, the most important issue for upstate New York Republicans is the degree of support for the former president. Republican candidates are campaigning on fear of Democrats, immigration, inflation, crime, taxes, and socialism, from which they and the former president are seen as protecting them.