GOP leaders, including Erie County's Langworthy, like chances in state races

Jun 5, 2018

His party has its candidates for governor and attorney general secured. Erie County Republican Party Chairman Nick Langworthy thinks this will be the year a Western New York native returns to the AG's office and a Republican returns to the governor's mansion.

Candidates already endorsed by Republicans at the state level have taken aim at what they describe as the climate of corruption in Albany, often times calling out Governor Andrew Cuomo by name. Langworthy, during Monday's campaign stop in Buffalo by attorney general hopeful Keith Wofford, was no exception. He noted the previous three holders of the attorney general's office - Eric Schneiderman, Cuomo and Eliot Spitzer - were mired in alleged corruption or resigned in disgrace (Schneiderman quit as attorney general this spring amidst accusations of abuse against women, while Spitzer resigned as governor following a sex scandal).

Erie County Republican Committee Chairman Nick Langworthy.
Credit WBFO file photo/Mike Desmond

Langworthy offered reminders that several close Cuomo associates await trial for corruption charges, many of which are tied to his Buffalo Billion program.

"The Governor declares 'I am the state. I am the government.' No he's not. He's just a temporary steward and administrator of the government," Langworthy said. "The people need to take their government back."

Langworthy believes this is the year the people will make a change in the governor's mansion, citing what he described as a large "Cuomo fatigue." 

Meanwhile, he's not concerned about the "Trump effect." When asked if the polarizing personality and administration of President Donald Trump may worry Republican strategists in New York State, he suggested Trump is not up for re-election in 2018.

But what about the notion that his agenda is a centerpiece of this year's election?

"The sad thing is that's their only playbook because they can't defend the Cuomo record," he replied.

"It's quite pathetic when you really watch that every sound bite that comes out of the governor's office has something to do with the president. The president was popularly elected across the country. He's doing hsi job, the governor should do his."

Langworthy is also not concerned about the recent dropping of federal charges against a former LP Ciminelli executive in connection with alleged Buffalo Billion corruption. Michael Laipple had been accused of participating in bid rigging until prosecutors in late May decided to end their case. Fellow former Ciminelli executive Kevin Schuler agreed to a plea deal, under which he admits guilt to some charges and will cooperate with prosecutors.

"Those are very strategic decisions by proseuctors to tighten their case against the people they're really looking to get," he said. 

Those people are former LP Ciminelli company head Louis Ciminelli, former SUNY Polytechnic Institute leader Alain Kaloyeros and Syracuse developers Steven Aiello and Joseph Gerardi.