BUFFALO, N.Y. — In the race between Republicans Carl Paladino and Nick Langworthy, the fight for their party's nomination is coming down to a final push by both candidates. The competitors in New York's 23rd Congressional race have continued to heat things up and neither appears bound for a cool down.
Voters will head to the polls in just 10 days for early voting and there are 20 days until Primary Day on Aug. 23.
Following New York’s contentious redistricting process, the newly redrawn NY-23 retained high favorables for Republican candidates so while November’s election will ultimately decide who heads to Congress, the Republican primary carries a lot of weight.
Hundreds of thousands of dollars are being pumped into new campaign ads for the Republican primary and both candidates have traded jabs. Paladino’s campaign has referred to their opponent as “Lying Langworthy” while the state GOP chair has opted for “Cowardly Carl.”
Each candidate has blamed the other for starting the banter.
“I think it's terrible for him [Nick Langworthy] to stoop and call me a coward. I'm not a coward and people know me. They know where I stand. They know my record and they stand behind me,” said Paladino during a Wednesday afternoon press conference.
Langworthy gave it right back during a telephone interview with 2 On Your Side.
“I think it's sad Carl has taken it this direction… I call him cowardly Carl because you know several television stations have offered us a debate opportunity and he refuses,” he said.
Both Paladino and Langworthy said they’re planning several campaign stops in the coming weeks and will be traveling throughout the large congressional district, which stretches the entire length of the Southern Tier and up into southern Erie County.
When asked again about debating his opponent Wednesday, Paladino said he sees “no reason” and that “people know how I stand on all the issues."
“Why aren't the local people supporting [Nick Langworthy] because they know he's a loser they know he's going to lose this thing,” Paladino added.
2 On Your Side has not published campaign or party polling from either candidate because of concern for bias. Paladino’s camp had made claims of a double-digit lead over their opponent while Langworthy’s campaign contends it’s a much closer race.
“I am not hiding from anything Carl Paladino is hiding like a very scared person that knows he can't buy this. He went into this expecting everyone else to get out of the way because he's rich and powerful,” Langworthy said.
Paladino remarked, “voters have a clear choice on August 23rd between a lying career politician or myself and I've been building my career dedicating myself to the people of Western New York.”
An endorsement that could play heavily in this campaign is that of former President Donald Trump. Paladino's campaign has bashed Langworthy for implying it has Trump’s endorsement but Paladino said Wednesday that he was personally told by Trump to "Go out and win."
But so far no formal endorsement has been made.
Tioga County resident Max Della Pia is the Democratic party’s nominee for New York’s 23rd Congressional race and will face the winner of the Republican primary in November.