BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Congressman Brian Higgins, who has represented much of the city of Buffalo and Western New York in Washington since 2005, appears to be stepping down.
A source close to the situation tells News 4 that Higgins becoming the president at Shea’s Performing Arts Center is a “done deal.” News 4 is told Shea’s is waiting for Higgins and board members to be in town before an official announcement is made.
The 64-year-old Higgins, a Democrat, currently represents New York’s 26th district, which makes up parts of both Erie and Niagara counties, including the city of Buffalo, Niagara Falls, Lackawanna, Tonawanda and North Tonawanda. He also represented much of Chautauqua County, including Jamestown and Dunkirk, from 2005 until redistricting in 2013. He was re-elected to a two-year term in 2022 and is currently in his ninth term in office.
Before Higgins, the city of Buffalo had been represented in the House of Representatives by Republican Jack Quinn.
Higgins was vital in the transformation of Canalside in downtown Buffalo, getting millions of dollars funding to revitalize the area. He had also worked to increase flight safety following the crash of Flight 3407 in Clarence in 2009, which killed 50 people. He was also an avid supporter of medical funding, bringing jobs to Western New York and the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus and for biomedical research.
More recently, he has advocated for gun reform following the Tops supermarket mass shooting on May 14, 2022.
Governor Kathy Hochul would need to call for a special election to fill Higgins’ seat. State Senator Tim Kennedy, who currently represents south Buffalo in the State Senate, is one of the names being considered to fill the position once Higgins leave office.
Shea’s, a premier arts and entertainment venue that is the crown jewel of Buffalo’s Theatre District, has been without a president since October 2022 when Michael G. Murphy was moved off his position amidst a shakeup of Shea’s leadership. Murphy had served as president of Shea’s for six years.
Higgins is a member of the Ways and Means committee as well as the Homeland Security committee.
This story was first reported by WBEN.
Aidan Joly joined the News 4 staff in 2022. He is a graduate of Canisius College. You can see more of his work here.