BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Republican Congressman Chris Jacobs, who represents New York’s 27th district and announced his candidacy for New York’s 23rd district in May 2022, announced Friday he will no longer be running for the new district.

Jacobs, an Orchard Park native, recently spoke out against the sale of AR-15s following the white supremacist mass shooting at the Jefferson Avenue Tops Markets location in Buffalo and a mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas that killed 19 children and two teachers.

NYS Conservative Chairman Gerard Kassar called Jacobs’ position on guns “unsatisfactory” and Erie County Conservative Chairman Ralph Lorigo called it “very disappointing,” adding, “We can’t support him in this district.”

Jacobs, however, said Friday the decision was not due to backlash from his comments last week.

“I didn’t feel any heat on this issue,” the congressman said. “No one called me about the assault weapon ban. This was purely a personal contemplation, prayer, and talking to people that I felt this was the right thing to do and the time was now to do it.”

Tompkins County legislator Mike Sigler announced Tuesday he would be challenging Jacobs for NY-23 in the primary, however, on News 4 at 4 Friday, he said he would be stepping aside to put his support behind NYS Republican Chairman Nick Langworthy. The Buffalo News reported earlier this week that Langworthy may consider a run, though he has not formally announced his candidacy.

News 4 also confirmed Ellicott Development Co. chair and former candidate for governor Carl Paladino plans to run, now that Jacobs is out of the race.

Jacobs’ full press conference can be viewed at the top of the page. News 4’s full interview with Sigler can be viewed below.

Adam Duke is a digital producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2021. See more of his work here.