Yet another retirement by a House Republican is imminent.
GOP sources confirm that Rep. Tom Reynolds, a Western NY Congressman since 1999 and ex-NRCC chairman, will announce around noon tomorrow in Buffalo that he will not seek re-election this fall. Reynolds spokesman LD Platt did not return an e-mail seeking comment.
Reynolds was the NRCC chair during the Mark Foley congressional page scandal, and then during the early days of the recent robbery (!) of their coffers. Apparently his team has been reading the tea leaves and Tom will be calling it quits. The Republicans were already down to six seats from the Empire State House delegation. This Western district still has a decided plurality of registered Republicans over Democrats, but the independents outnumber both parties so any race can be a toss-up.
Already in the running for this seat is Jon Powers, an Iraq war veteran and Democrat who has been gaining the attention of the national party recently. His chief stump speech points thus far have been themes familiar to New Yorkers - the loss of jobs in the upstate area, high tax rates and bringing the Iraq war to an end. He recently caught the attention of the media when he toured veteran centers along with Dan Maffei.
You may recall that Maffei is now the presumptive Dem. nominee seeking to take the currently Republican held seat of Jim Walsh who has also announced that he'll be going home to spend more time with his family this fall. We'll be trying to get both Powers and Maffei on Mid Stream Radio in the coming weeks to talk about their positions on the issues of the day.