OLEAN — State Republican Chairman Nicholas A. Langworthy visited Olean Wednesday and met with GOP leaders from Cattaraugus and Allegany counties as well as Southern Tier state elected officials.
Langworthy, the longtime Erie County Republican chairman, was named state GOP chairman in July. He said he plans to finish visiting every county by the end of the year. He has eight left.
Langworthy met and congratulated state Sen. George Borrello of Chautauqua County, winner of the special election in the 57th Senate District, and Assemblyman Joseph Giglio, R-Gowanda.
Cattaraugus County Republican Party Chairman Robert Keis Sr. and Allegany County Republican Chairman Michael Healy, Olean Mayor Bill Aiello and County Legislator Frank Higgins and Legislator-elect Richard Smith also attended the breakfast with Langworthy.
The state Republican chairman congratulated Keis for winning 16 of the 17 seats on the Cattaraugus County Legislature in the November election.
Later, Keis said the state Republican Committee aided Cattaraugus and other counties to get out the Republican vote by targeting Republicans who might not otherwise go to the polls.
One specific effort was a non-specific robocall from President Trump urging the voter to get out and vote Republican.
Cattaraugus County Democratic Party Chairman Frank Puglisi commented after the election that he saw Langworthy’s fingerprints on the Trump robocall and other GOP get-out-the-vote efforts.
“We helped get out the vote,” Langworthy told the Olean Times Herald in an interview following the breakfast with Republican leaders. The party also helped with mailers urging Republicans to get out and vote. “That’s on top of great candidates,” he added.
“Sixteen to one,” he said of the upcoming Republican majority on the Cattaraugus County Legislature. “If we were a small part of that, God bless. That’s why we’re here.”
The election push is an early indication that Langworthy differs from his predecessor, Edward Cox, who he challenged for the state GOP leadership.
“I’m a different kind of animal,” Langworthy said, adding that his are “full-contact politics.”
Rarely a day goes by that Langworthy doesn’t blast Gov. Andrew Cuomo. “Prince Cuomo,” he calls the governor. “I call out the governor for his bad policies. The Marquis of Queensbury rules are out.”
He’s encouraged to find that Republicans like Borrello, who succeeds former Sen. Catharine M. Young of Olean, and U.S. Rep. Tom Reed of Corning picking up the pace of attacks on Cuomo, who he called a “tyrant.”
Wednesday’s visit to Olean was “like home” to Langworthy, a South Dayton native and a 1999 graduate of Pine Valley Central School. He has made Erie County home for much of his life. His mother, Priscilla Langworthy, still lives in South Dayton, where he admits he doesn’t visit often enough.
Langworthy took the opportunity of not being able to get to his Albany office due to winter storms to sit down with Republicans on Cattaraugus County ”and talk about the party.” He’s doing much the same across the state.
Langworth said the saddest thing for New York residents to do is “say goodbye to loved ones leaving the state” to move to the South because of the high cost of staying here.
“The Southern Tier has been hit the hardest” as businesses closed and left for other states, or just closed, Langworthy said.
The state taxes too much and spends too much, he said. Now, a new rent-control law is about to upend the real estate industry in New York City, while some want to see the law extended to Upstate.
Langworthy said the state’s “Cadillac Medicaid plan” is largely responsible for a state budget deficit of $6.1 billion this year. New York lost 64,000 residents last year to Florida and Texas, which are far less generous with their Medicaid benefits and where taxes are lower.
Langworthy said he was excited with Borrello’s win in the 57th Senate District of Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, Allegany and Livingston counties. He can serve in the same manner as Young, Langworthy said. “He is tenacious. They need his loud voice in Albany.”
Langworthy said Republicans “need to recover lost ground” after last year’s 40-23 drubbing Democrats served up to Republicans in the State Senate. He said the party will look to select and support Republican candidates with energy and common sense.
“We’re working every day to revitalize the Republican Party in New York state,” the chairman said.
(Contact reporter Rick Miller at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter, @RMillerOTH)