BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — News 4 has confirmed the target date for a special election in New York’s 27th Congressional District is April 28, which is 15 weeks away.

The seat was left open following Chris Collins’ resignation, which happened on the same October day he pleaded guilty in an insider trading case.

April 28 falls on New York state’s Democratic presidential primary, which in theory could lead to higher turnout from party members in the Western New York district, traditionally a GOP stronghold.

Republicans had blasted the move prior, saying it would be a gift to Democrats. Gov. Andrew Cuomo previously said a special election on primary day would save the state money.

State Republican Chair Nick Langworthy issued this statement on Monday:

“Governor Cuomo’s partisan manipulation of the NY-27 special election is a slap in the face to Western New Yorkers who won’t forget he put his own interests above their right to representation in Congress. At a time when our federal government is facing gravely important decisions concerning our national security, our economy and Democrats’ attempt to remove our duly-elected President from office, the people of NY-27 are being denied a voice because Andrew Cuomo is trying to rig an election. The actions of this Governor and Nancy Pelosi’s Democrat Party already sealed their fate in this election and we will retain this seat, regardless of what date it’s held.” 

NYGOP Chairman Nick Langworthy

Senator, and Congressional candidate, Chris Jacobs also released a statement on the special election announcement:

“Make no mistake, this special election will be a tough race and by holding it on the day of the Democratic Presidential Primary, Governor Cuomo is doing everything he can to rig it for the Democrats. That’s why it is critical that Republicans have a nominee with a proven track record of winning tough races and the financial resources to run and win under the toughest circumstances. I’ve proven I can win tough races, by winning three races that few other Republicans could have and I’ve already raised more than $1 million for this special election race. It is essential that we have a candidate and a campaign that is fully funded and prepared to win against an onslaught of Democratic attacks so we can send a conservative Republican to Washington who can get results and actually help deliver on the President Trump’s agenda.”

Senator Chris Jacobs

The governor could have left the seat open until the November election, and whoever wins in April would have to turn around and again run for office.

The 27th District includes portions of Erie, Niagara and Monroe counties outside of their city cores, as well as all of Orleans, Genesee, Wyoming and Livingston counties, and half of Ontario County.

Sentencing for Chris Collins is Friday in Manhattan.