(WETM/WIVB) – Steuben County Republican Party Chairman Joe Sempolinski says he is considering running for Congress to replace Rep. Tom Reed in the 23rd Congressional District.
Congressman Reed announced that he will not seek re-election or run for any other position in 2022 after apologizing for alleged sexual misconduct involving a lobbyist.
Sempolinski confirmed rumors of his interest in the job on Frankly Speaking with Frank Acomb.
“I have been exploring, it has been going very, very well. I’m not at a point yet where I would declare a candidacy. Still, making sure that there will be enough viability to and begin looking to see what happens a little bit with the district, but it’s, it’s been going very, very well.”
A graduate of Corning – Painted Post West High School, Sempolinski attended Georgetown University and earned his Master in Philosophy at Yale.
Sempolinski served as Rep. Reed’s campaign chairman in 2010, 2012, and 2016 and listed himself on LinkedIn as a senior advisor and strategist for Reed until 2018.
Sempolinski currently works as a Consultant for Killbuck Strategies in Corning and has served as the county’s Republican party chair since 2016.
In 2015 Sempolinski lost a Steuben County legislator race to Steve Maio by single-digit votes.
“The Southern Tier and Finger Lakes deserve a Congressman who knows this region, is from this region and will fight for this region” Sempolinski stated. “The Democrats in the Washington swamp think this will be a Socialist nation. Their vision is one of failure and decline. I believe America’s best days are ahead of us and I will not let the greatest nation in human history go down without a fight. We need a real Constitutional, Common Sense, Conservative to represent this region going forward.“
Sempolinski says that in “the coming weeks, he will continue traveling the district seeking support and listening to the concerns of the people of the region.”
Sempolinski was born in Elmira and raised in the Painted Post area. He currently lives in Canisteo with his wife Angie and daughters Joselyn and Madelyn.
Sempolinski is not the only person who has hinted at throwing their hat into the ring for Reed’s seat.
Chemung County Executive Chris Moss tells 18 News he is exploring a run, but that he does plan to run for County Executive in 2022.
Matthew Burr, owner of Burr Consulting L.L.C. and business professor at Elmira College, announced that he is “strongly considering” running for the open Congressional seat in 2022.
Cathy Young, a former Republican state senator who now serves as the executive director of the New York State Center of Excellence for Food and Agriculture at Cornell University, told WIVB in an email she has been speaking with leaders around the district.
“Politically speaking, the 2022 midterm elections are a lifetime away and, right now, I’m focused on my work at Cornell University to help build our local agribusiness economy and create jobs for local families,” Young added.
Senator George Borrello, who succeeded Young in the state Senate, said he was focused on the state budget process in Albany right now, but added, “I certainly wouldn’t rule anything out.”
State Assemblyman Joe Giglio said a run for the congressional seat was something he “might consider”, but that it was a little premature to consider it right now.
Chautauqua County Executive P.J. Wendel said he was focused on his 2021 campaign for re-election at this time. And Assemblyman Andy Goodell told News 4 he was not interested in the seat.
As currently drawn, the 23rd District includes all or parts of Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Chemung, Ontario, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben, Tioga, Tompkins, and Yates Counties. Republicans hold an enrollment advantage over Democrats by about 27,000 voters. The district could be redrawn and it’s not known where cities such as Elmira or Corning could land on the map.
“Redistricting is looming over the horizon, said Sempolinski. “Sadly, because of the gross mismanagement of the Cuomo machine, our state will likely be losing seats in the House. We need to do everything we can to preserve a district that is made up of the small cities and rural areas of the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes.”