There was joy in the air Tuesday, as State Republican Chair Ed Cox and Erie County Republican Chair Nick Langworthy reflected on what they called a great election year for the GOP and an opportunity to change politics - in New York and nationally under President-Elect Donald Trump.
Both chairmen pointed to Trump being a New Yorker who is familiar with Upstate from his travels while considering a run for governor.
"Donald Trump performed better than any presidential nominee since Gerald Ford and we found that to be substantial," Langworthy said. "He carried towns that haven't gone Republican in years and years in a presidential election. Towns like West Seneca and Hamburg and he won Cheektowaga, a critical town. That means, frankly, that there is cross-over Democratic appeal for his candidacy."
"They lost because they did not have a candidate who was a leader, who could have a vision for this country, who addressed the real problems of this country, particularly in the swing states, which were contested and which she lost 48-46, those swing states where there was a real contest going on," Cox said. "Donald Trump won because he is a leader and he had a vision for America."
They also pointed to Congressman Chris Collins, his key role in the presidential campaign and his continuing role defending decisions made by the president-elect.
Locally, they also pointed to the way Democratic regions in Erie County turned out to vote Republican this year, a sign of potential future change. Cox also pointed to the election of Chris Jacobs as essential to continuing Republican control of the State Senate.
"Holding on to a majority in the State Senate because of Chris Jacobs' win here in Erie County is also historic because, of course, we lost that majority in 2008," Cox said. "We lost it again in 2012. In this presidential year, we held on to our majority in the State Senate because of Chris Jacobs' win here."
Cox said it is even more important because a Republican seat on Long Island has possibly flipped to the Democrats. The state chairman said that vote followed the indictment of the Senate candidate's father on corruption charges, something he calls political in bringing the charges close to the election.