CORNING, N.Y. (WIVB) — A special election for New York’s 23rd Congressional District will be held on Aug. 23. That election will coincide with the state’s congressional and state senate primary day.
The congressional seat is open after Rep. Tom Reed resigned earlier this month. Reed, who represented the Southern Tier in Congress for nearly 12 years, now works for a Washington-based government relations firm.
Reed announced on the House floor his resignation on May 10. The website of the Clerk of the House of Representatives says his resignation was effective that day. But state officials say they didn’t officially and properly receive his resignation, preventing them from calling a special election earlier.
“A letter to the Governor does not constitute proper resignation. You have to send the letter to the Secretary of State,” Gov. Kathy Hochul said Wednesday. “Now that may seem like a technicality. But those are the kind of technicalities that a judge would look at and say, ‘You didn’t follow it. Therefore this is invalid.'”
Later Wednesday morning, Department of State officials said everything was in order.
“Congressman Reed submitted his resignation directly to Secretary of State (Robert) Rodriguez this morning,” a DOS official told News 4. “This satisfies the requirements of Public Officers Law Section 31.”
The Public Officers Law gives Hochul 10 days to issue a proclamation for a special election, which must take place 70-80 days afterward. This means that on June 4, she can call the special election for August 23.
Reed says that’s what will happen. A spokesperson for Hochul says the Governor “will follow the process set out by law and issue a proclamation declaring a special election that will align with the recently set August 23rd election date.”
“Very frustrating but glad it seems all done,” Reed said in an email. Reed argues he has been “clear and straight-up” with state officials throughout the process.
Whoever wins the special election in the 23rd Congressional District will hold that seat through the rest of the year. Starting in 2023, the district is being redrawn to include part of Erie County and exclude Tomkins, Tioga, Seneca, Yates, and Ontario Counties. An election for the redrawn district will take place in November.
Reed announced last year that he would not seek re-election to Congress after a misconduct claim against him appeared in the Washington Post. He was accused of fumbling with a lobbyist’s bra and unhooking it in a Minneapolis bar in 2017. Reed publicly offered the woman an apology.
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