Republican Party Chairman Ed Cox released a statement today expressing confidence that the GOP will maintain control of the 26th Congressional district in the seat recently vacated by Chris Lee.
“This is a regrettable situation and it is sad that [Lee] had to resign,” Cox wrote in a press release. “We are fortunate to have an energized Republican Party and a deep bench of potential candidates in Western New York.”
At a Crain’s breakfast forum with state Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, Cox told reporters that he had not spoken to Lee before his resignation.
Assemblywoman Jane Corwin, who also serves as treasurer of the State Republican Party, and Assemblyman Jack Quinn III are among the names being tossed around as potential Republican candidates for the seat.
At the forum, Skelos was asked about another potential candidate, state Senator George Maziarz, but Skelos said that he did not believe Maziarz would run, based on what he had heard from other senators who had spoken to him.
“I believe in the end, Senator Maziarz, who is the president pro tem of the Senate, will be staying in the Senate,” Skelos said.
Skelos added that even if Maziarz did run, he was confident the party could hold that state Senate district in a special election, based on its heavily Republican bent–an attitude echoed by Cox with regard to the congressional seat.
“I am confident that a very strong and qualified candidate will be selected to run who will continue to ensure that the people of the 26th District are represented in the Republican Majority in the House of Representatives in Washington,” Cox said in his statement.