State Senator Chris Jacobs, considered by many to be a formidable challenger in the race for Erie County Executive this fall, has withdrawn his name from consideration as a Republican contender.
Jacobs says his decision not to run is based on family reasons. He was re-elected to his current seat in November and, more recently, he and his wife welcomed a baby girl into the family.
"Due to that factor, more than anything else, I just did not think it was the right time for my family," Jacobs told WBFO. "I'm very much enjoying being in the Senate and continue to do that. It's just not the right time to take on a major county-wide run such as running for county executive."
Erie County Republican Committee Chairman Nick Langworthy issued a written statement regarding Jacobs' decision to stay out of the race: "We fully understand and appreciate Senator Jacobs decision to take his name out of consideration for the Republican nomination for Erie County Executive. We are very happy for the Jacobs Family on the birth of their beautiful daughter.
"We have multiple very strong, qualified and eager candidates with proven electoral success that we have been considering. These candidates would restore fiscal discipline and respect for Taxpayers back to the Rath Building.
"We look forward to announcing our Republican candidate for Erie County Executive very soon."
Also mentioned as a possible challenger against Democratic incumbent Mark Poloncarz is Erie County Legislator Lynne Dixon. She is a registered Independent who historically has caucused with Republicans and Conservatives within the Legislature. She has not stated whether she will run, recently telling WBFO in a written message that while it's an honor to be mentioned, there are several good candidates, adding that for her it was "business as usual."
If Dixon chooses to run, she will immediately have Jacobs' support.
"I know she's been sought out by some of the leadership," Jacobs said. "I talked to her a while ago. I will be very supportive of Lynne. I think the world of Lynne personally and I think she's an outstanding elected official. If she decides to do it, she'll have my full support."
Poloncarz, meanwhile, has scheduled his formal re-election bid with a kickoff event this Saturday in Buffalo's Larkinville neighborhood. He is seeking a third term.