ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB) – There has been plenty of fallout in the 48 hours since President Donald Trump endorsed Chris Jacobs for the April special election in New York’s 27th Congressional District. But will it affect the June Republican primary, in which Jacobs will face two challengers for the right to advance to the November election?
It’s undoubtedly a busy election year in the 27th. Jacobs, a state senator from Orchard Park, will face Democratic former Grand Island Town Supervisor Nate McMurray and Libertarian candidate Duane Whitmer in the special election. It was called to fill the seat left vacant by the resignation of Chris Collins.
On Tuesday, President Trump endorsed Jacobs in that special election.
“Chris Jacobs will be a great Congressman who will always fight for the people of New York,” Trump tweeted.
“I had been told a couple weeks ago by minority leader Kevin McCarthy that there may be such an endorsement, but you don’t know until it happens,” Jacobs said Thursday.
Meanwhile, McMurray was unimpressed.
“As my opponent begs for the President’s love, I proudly demand his accountability,” McMurray tweeted.
The endorsement may have come as a surprise to some observers, who have heard Jacobs referred to as a “never Trumper” by the Club For Growth Action, a conservative group which has already released advertisements attacking Jacobs.
”Chris Jacobs is neither a conservative nor a good fit for the district, and there are several conservative options available in the race that are better than Jacobs,” Club for Growth Action President David McIntosh said when asked for a response to Trump’s endorsement.
Two people weren’t surprised by the endorsement: Stefan Mychajliw and Beth Parlato, Jacobs opponents in the June primary.
“Think of the choices,” Mychajliw said. “The choices are a radical progressive socialist in Nate McMurray or an Albany moderate, Mitt Romney supporting RINO like Chris Jacobs. No matter who would have gotten the (Republican) nomination, they would have gotten a tweet like that.”
“It was specifically qualified just for the special election,” Parlato said. “It’s exactly what we wanted. I have a team in Washington working hard for me too and advocating on my behalf with the President and Vice President.”
Jacobs continues to shrug off notions that he is a “never Trumper”.
“The group funding that attack actually in my mind is the original ‘never Trumper,'” Jacobs said, referring to Club for Growth’s 2016 campaign attacking then-candidate Donald Trump.
Jacobs picked up another endorsement from former Rep. Jack Quinn on Thursday.