Olean native Andrew McCarthy announced plans in April to run for Congress in the current 23rd Congressional District, where Rep. Tom Reed had announced he wouldn’t seek re-election.
McCarthy, 35, who lives in Oneida County, said Friday he’s seeking the Republican nomination in the 24th Congressional District, where Rep. John Katko just announced he won’t seek re-election.
Katko is the fourth Republican congressman who voted to impeach President Donald Trump after the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection to announce they won’t seek re-election.
A U.S. Air Force veteran working with the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency, McCarthy lives four days a week in Rome, N.Y., which is outside the current 24th Congressional District.
Had McCarthy stuck to his original plan, he would be looking at an open Republican primary that could include former state Sen. Catharine M. Young of Olean — many Republicans in the region are urging her candidacy — and Steuben County GOP Chairman Joe Sempolinski, who has been endorsed by Reed.
McCarthy plans to establish his residence within the boundaries of the 24th District once they are established by the state legislature. He is currently registered to vote in Olean, where he lives part of the time with his parents.
McCarthy did not indicate when he decided to seek a seat in Congress in Central New York rather than the Southern Tier district of his native Western New York.
Speaking with the Times Herald on Friday, McCarthy said he’d just got off the phone with Trump — they spoke of his candidacy in the wake of Katko’s announcement he will retire after his current term.
Two other Republicans had already announced plans to run against Katko: Tim Ko, a physician’s assistant from Syracuse and John Murtari, a Wayne County software engineer. There may be more candidates for an open GOP primary.
McCarthy told syracuse.com he didn’t think Republican primary voters would think of him as a carpetbagger because of his lack of Central New York roots.
McCarthy, a 2004 Olean High School graduate who also graduated from Jamestown Community College and Old Dominion University in Virginia, told syracuse.com that he hoped to tap into Trump’s donor base. He was also scheduled to appear on Steve Bannon’s podcast.
Asked in an interview last April whether the 2020 presidential election was conducted fairly, McCarthy told the Times Herald, “It’s a tough call. Hindsight is 20-20. Things are a little bit clearer now than back then. I agree that the election was fair and square.”
Many Republican residents in the district thought the election had been stolen from Trump and McCarthy would not have voted to certify the election. “It was a gray area over-polluted with politics on both sides,” he said
The Jan. 6 riot and insurrection “was out of control,” he then added.