BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Carl Paladino, the one-time gubernatorial candidate who has stepped into a number of controversies since announcing a run for Congress, said Friday that if elected, he would use his first day in office to pursue impeachment proceedings against President Joe Biden.

Paladino, who is running against state Republican committee chairman Nick Langworthy in the primary for New York’s newly drawn 23rd district, criticized Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas in a press release announcing his plan to fight illegal immigration, which also includes impeaching Mayorkas.

“My first day in Congress,” Paladino said in the release, “I will pursue impeachment proceedings against Joe Biden as well for the disaster he has unleashed on our Southern Border.”

Other parts of his border platform include authoring legislation to finish the border wall, hiring more border patrol agents and paying them more, and working with law enforcement to more aggressively prosecute anyone found bringing fentanyl into the country.

Langworthy has also railed against “the disastrous Biden-Pelosi agenda” in recent days, though he has not called for impeachment. Both men are seeking to overturn to New York’s new concealed carry restrictions.

Paladino’s impeachment proclamation came two days after he was discovered to have a convicted sex offender listed on his campaign staff. Last month, he deleted his Facebook page when a post laden with conspiracy theories was roundly criticized online. And shortly after the Facebook incident, a radio interview was uncovered in which Paladino said Adolf Hitler is “the kind of leader we need today.”

The cloud of controversy is nothing new for Paladino, who was removed from the Buffalo School Board in 2017 after making racist comments about the Obamas and revealing confidential information about contract negotiations. His 2010 campaign for governor was also damaged by controversy, including instances of forwarding racist and pornographic emails and saying in a speech he feared children were being “brainwashed” into thinking homosexuality was acceptable.

In campaign finance disclosures released Friday, Paladino reported having significantly more cash on hand than Langworthy after writing himself a $1.5 million loan.

Langworthy reported having $304,000 on hand — 96% of which came from individual donations — while Paladino, who has self-funded previous campaigns, has over $1.44 million remaining. Paladino’s biggest expense so far was $20,000 to senior consultant Boris Epshteyn, a former advisor on Donald Trump’s presidential campaigns.

The new NY-23 is a strong Republican-leaning district that contains eastern and southern Erie County and the entire Southern Tier from Lake Erie to Elmira. The primary election is Tuesday, Aug. 23.

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Nick Veronica is a Buffalo native who joined the News 4 team as a Digital Executive Producer in 2021. He previously worked at NBC Sports and The Buffalo News. You can follow Nick on Facebook and Twitter and find more of his work here