Lawsuit over NY27 Special Election Date to be Heard Today

Langworthy says Cuomo needs to call special election sooner than presidential primary date

Tom Puckett
January 13, 2020 - 4:00 am

Erie County GOP Chair Nick Langworthy with Ontario County GOP Chair Trisha Turner. August 14, 2018 (WBEN Photo/Mike Baggerman)


Buffalo, NY (WBEN) Last month, New York State Republican Chairman Nick Langworthy filed suit against Governor Cuomo calling on him to call a special election in NY27 to replace Chris Collins soon. That suit is scheduled to be heard in Rochester today.

Collins resigned from the seat in September, shortly before pleading guilty to insider trading. Cuomo has strongly hinted that he would prefer to hold a special election for the Congressional seat in concert with the April Democratic Presidential priary election in New York.  While Cuomo claims the move would save money, Erie County Conservative Party Chairman Ralph Lorigo isn't buying it. "There are numerous situations when someone leaves a congressional office, a special election is held and called within weeks of the vacating of that office. I believe his argument he's attempting to save money is erroneous," says Lorigo, adding there's already a $6 billion budget deficit.

Lorigo says the district has not been represented fairly since Collins' resignation. "It's unconscionable that the consituents would be without congressional represenation, so I believe (Cuomo) should have called it and I believe the lawsuit will be successful" says Lorigo, who notes 400,000 people are represented by NY27.

Attorney Jim Ostrowski agrees. "I think it's a good argument, and I think (Langworthy) has a good chance at prevailing," says Ostrowski. "I think the governor's obligated to hold a special election as soon as possible to give the candidates ample time to campaign." 

Ostrowski says Cuomo has his reason for holding off until the Democratic Presidential primary date. "He seems to want to delay it, and it's obviously contrived to help the Democrats because President Trump is running unopposed on the Republican side, the Democratic nomination is hotly contested so it seems like it's political," contends Ostrowski.

Ostrowski says it appears the attorney general wasn't prepared, and he calls that disingenous, saying it's not a complicated case. "It seems like they're stalling, and they definitely want this for the presidential primary to jerry rig it," believes Ostrowski.

Ostrowski notes while other congressmen can handle administrative matters, constituents in NY27 are not having their voices heard. "I think the governor is the one silencing the voice," says Ostrowski. 

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