BUFFALO, N.Y. — New York State Republican Committee Chairman Nick Langworthy has announced he is running for the 23rd Congressional district seat.
He announced his candidacy in a social media video.
Langworthy is stepping in after Congressman Chris Jacobs decided not to run for the 23rd district seat after backlash to his newly announced support for banning assault weapons and other gun-related legislation.
The Republican primary is on August 23.
Newly formed after a multi-month redistricting kerfuffle that saw multiple maps that a court decided were gerrymandered, the 23rd district represents parts of southern Erie County and the entirety of Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Chemung, Schuyler, and Steuben counties.
With the addition of Langworthy in the race, he joins Dr. Richard Mooon, a Jamestown business owner, as well as former Buffalo School Board member and gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino as primary candidates.
Langworthy does not need the signatures that Paladino or Moon are required to have because he's stepping in for a candidate who already submitted signatures but is no longer running.
Paladino tweeted that he obtained the required signatures and raised $500,000 in one day.
The filing deadline for primary candidates is June 10.
"I've been around politics for 50 years," said Democratic political analyst Ken Kruly. "I've never seen a party leader run for major office."
Sources tell WGRZ that Langworthy plans to continue his chairmanship of the NYS Republican Party while running for congress.
"It is unprecedented and surprising in a lot of ways," said long-time Republican strategist Carl Calabrese. "Those who know Nick always felt that Nick was the organizational side of politics."
Langworthy is also a former Erie County Republican Committee Chairman.
"There's obviously a need for good, talented, qualified people to do that," Calabrese said. "He was one of them, soo it is a little bit surprising for a lot of Republicans who always saw him in the organizational campaign management role to now see him in the candidate role."
One top Republican in Western New York told 2 On Side that Langworthy adding himself to the congressional race has thrown the party into a frenzy, stating there's a lot of confusion as to what will happen, and who will support who?
Paladino and Langworthy were early supporters of former President Trump. His endorsement of one of them is almost certain, multiple sources said.
Who the former president will support, remains a closely guarded secret.
"It's gonna be interesting to see what Trump does because he's close to both Nick and Carl," Calabrese said. "He's got loyalties to both of them so that alone will be a story if he has to choose between favorites."
Meanwhile, the other candidate, Dr. Richard Moon says he's the only candidate that has ties to the Southern Tier and knows the issues that matter to voters.
"Certainly money supply and jobs, right, and it all goes economically hand in hand," Dr. Moon said. "My two kids are in their upper 20s, early 30s, they moved away for jobs and it happens to a lot of families here."
Dr. Moon says Paladino and Langworthy don't really know the southern tier because their focus has always been Buffalo.
"He's [Paladino] not committed to Allegheny County or Chemung County or Cattaraugus County," Dr. Moon said. "Mr. Langworthy, he's got a job to do getting Mr. Zeldin elected so I don't know, even know why he's sacrificing that if you wanted to be in this race."
2 On Your Side reached out to both Nick Langworthy and Carl Paladino for an interview but did not hear back.