The draft district lines released by federal Judge Roanne Mann yesterday not only placed Western New York Congresswoman Kathy Hochul in a new district, but they make her old district quite favorable to Republicans: Democratic-strongholds in Buffalo and Rochester have now been put entirely into the districts of Reps. Brian Higgins and Louis Slaughter, respectively.
If they stand up in court, the new lines raise the question of whether Hochul would move into this new, GOP-heavy district — or else possibly take on Higgins. But they also appear to have raised the hopes of some prominent Republicans who are eying higher office.
David Bellavia, an Iraq veteran who ran in the special election for the seat in 2011 and has been running for it again for months, is definitely in.
But Bellavia’s campaign consultant Michael Caputo (of Carl Paladino fame) also points out that last night, after the new maps came out, all the various iterations of “Gallivan For Congress” were bought up online by an unknown source.
Gallivan just happens to be the last name of Erie County State Sen. Patrick Gallivan — who was elected to the Senate in 2010, after a long career as the Erie County Sheriff.
“It’s way too coincidental, and defies logic, that of all the names of people who could run for Congress, those were bought last night,” Caputo said, who also described the new district lines for Hochul’s seat as having the same level of attractiveness to “career politicians” (re: not his client) as a “really hot woman.”
A spokesman for Gallivan, Greg Biryla, declined to confirm or deny that Gallivan had bought the domain names.
But Biryia certainly did not deny his boss’ overall interest.
“The only thing I can say is that these latest lines are not yet final,” he said. “Beyond that, I’m not going to comment.”
Meanwhile, Caputo also says he’s hearing that other big names are interested in running, including former Erie County Executive Chris Collins (who previously has not ruled it out), Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb and former AG Dennis Vacco.
If all of these five GOP candidates ran, it would certainly be quite the interesting primary, but Kolb, Collins and Vacco were not immediately available for comment.
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