BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Congressman Chris Jacobs will not be back in the House next year. He announced on Friday he is not running for the newly redrawn 23rd Congressional District, as originally planned.
In a 4 p.m. press conference, Jacobs announced he was not running. Live on News 4 at 4, Mike Sigler announced he was dropping out of the race to support Nick Langworthy, who is not a confirmed candidate. During the same hour, News 4 confirmed Carl Paladino was throwing his hat into the ring.
Rep. Jacobs said he is pulling himself from the race because of backlash over comments he made last week about gun control. He said if a bill to ban assault rifles made it to the House floor he would vote for it.
“If you stray from a party position, you are annihilated,” Rep. Jacobs said Friday in his press conference. “For the Republicans, it became pretty apparent to me over the last week, that issue is gun control. Any gun control.”
The first-term Congressman is accusing the state and county Republican party of circulating petitions for other candidates to run against him.
“Since that time, every Republican elected official that endorsed me withdrew their endorsement,” Rep. Jacobs added.
He said he does not want a divisive election, so he is stepping aside. Carl Paladino is stepping up and announced his candidacy for New York 23.
“I don’t follow party line strictly. I’m a Republican. I’m a Conservative. I speak what I feel is right for the City of Buffalo and have historically done that,” Paladino told News 4.
Paladino called himself a divisive figure because he speaks his mind. Many allege he is racist for emails he sent about former First Lady Michelle Obama.
As for endorsements, Paladino says his phone has been ringing all day and that former President Donald Trump supports him.
“He’s with me 100%,” Paladino explained.
Many question whether New York GOP Chairman Nick Langworthy will run for the seat. Sigler said on News 4 at 4 that Langworthy is running.
“He is running. I was a little worried that he was collecting ballot signatures as a place holder, but that is not the case. He is in the race and for that I am stepping aside so Nick Langworthy can run for that office unfettered,” Sigler said.
News 4 has reached out to Langworthy and asked if he intends to run, but he has not replied to the request for comment.
As for the future, Paladino says he is gathering signatures to be on the primary ballot. Those are due Friday, June 10. For Rep. Jacobs, he is finishing his term and says he has plans for what is next.
“Wait and see what I do, because I have some plans,” he explained.
The Republican Congressional Primary is scheduled for August 23. This date was pushed back from its original June date because of the lengthy redistricting process. Rep. Jacobs current district, NY 27, was redrawn along with NY 23, which originally went across the Southern Tier. Now, NY 23 includes parts of Erie County and the Southern Tier.
Tara Lynch is a Buffalo native who joined the News 4 team as a reporter in 2022. She previously worked at WETM in Elmira, N.Y., a sister station of News 4. You can follow Tara on Facebook and Twitter and find more of her work here.