A new congressional seat is open after the resignation of Representative Chris Lee, with a special election to be held on May 24th. The Republican and Conservative Parties have settled on the nominee for their ballot lines, State Representative Jane Corwin. However, one candidate rejected for the nod is looking to run on his own line. From Roll Call:
Jack Davis did not win the Republican or Conservative Party lines for the unscheduled special election to replace Rep. Chris Lee (R-N.Y.). But the wealthy businessman is continuing to court tea party activists in the 26th district to help boost a third-party run.
“I just know that he’s been calling us and wants to get together with my husband,” Julianne “Jul” Thompson of TEA New York told Roll Call on Tuesday afternoon. Thompson and her husband, Rus, co-founded the group, which is the area’s largest tea party organization…
Thompson largely dismissed Davis’ chances of winning widespread support from the conservative base. “He doesn’t seem like a very viable candidate,” she said.
But she noted that Davis is getting help from “a rogue tea party faction,” known as the Western New York Tea Party Coalition. As in most states, there are various organizations associated with the larger tea party movement, and they often do not agree.
An earlier article quoted Davis as intending to keep his promise to pour $3 million into the race. Davis ran as a Democrat in this district three times in the past, but in 2010 he sought to run as a Republican.
Another candidate, Iraq War veteran David Bellavia, also sought and failed to secure the Conservative and Republican nominations. He too has been seeking support in the district and is potentially pursuing an independent candidacy. However, unlike Davis, Bellavia lacks the personal wealth which may prove critical to secure a place on the ballot.
Governor Cuomo announced the date of the election yesterday- so third party candidates now have 12 days to gather 3,500 signatures to place their name on the ballot in the district.
Democrats have yet to declare a nominee, although it appears likely the candidate will be Erie County Clerk Kathy Hochul. No word on who will claim the Independence, Green, and Working Families ballot lines.