Regional GOP leaders expect to name a candidate to run in a special election for Chris Lee's former seat within eight or nine days, said Nick Langworthy, Erie County GOP chairman following a two-hour meeting of county chairs at Batavia's South Beach Restaurant.
"We need to nominate somebody in short order because we believe the election will be held some time in the next six to eight weeks," Langworthy said.
Added Monroe County Chairman Bill Reilich, "Governor Cuomo is not Governor Paterson. He knows we need representation in Washington."
Last year, residents of the 29th Congressional District went eight months without representation because Gov. Paterson refused to call a special election. In that case, Democrats feared losing the seat to Republicans. In this case, some Democrats think they have a fighting chance to take the 26th District.
The GOP county chairs said candidates for the Republican nomination will be interviewed in one week by 21 GOP leaders from throughout the region.
Any candidate who wants to be considered, Langworthy said, should contact his or her county chair and provide a letter of intent and resume.
"All candidates will be considered," Langworthy said.
Also attending today's meeting were: Mike Norris, Niagara County; Ed Morgan, Orleans County; Gordon Brown, Wyoming County; and Don Read, representing Genesee County while chairman Dick Seibert is on medical leave.