(WETM) – Congressman Tom Reed tells 18 News he is endorsing Steuben County Republican Committee Chair Joe Sempolinski for Congress.

“He would do a great job,” said Reed on Thursday. “He’s got a great story, I’ve watched him mature into the grown man that he is.”

Sempolinski, an Elmira native, led Reed’s New York-based staff for the 23rd Congressional District and announced his candidacy in July 2021. He has also served as Director of Development at Archbishop Walsh Academy in Olean.

Sempolinski has described himself as a Constitutional Conservative who is “pro-Second Amendment, pro-life, pro-business and pro-law enforcement.”

“He’s up to the task and he’s the guy I’m supporting,” said Reed.

“I thank Tom so much for his support of my candidacy,” said Sempolinski on Thursday evening. “The campaign’s momentum continues to grow. Every day more voters join us on our mission to serve the people of the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes. This is another major step toward victory in November.”

Reed announced earlier last year he would not seek re-election following a Washington Post article in which Nicolette Davis, a former lobbyist, alleged sexual misconduct against the five-term Congressman.

Reed has since apologized to Davis.

Whoever wins the Republican primary election to represent the Southern Tier is likely to have a new battleground to fight on as the New York Independent Redistricting Commission looks to choose new congressional district maps.

“A lot of people are expecting…next week these maps will be very quickly thrown in the garbage,” said Sempolinski in an interview with 18 News earlier this week. “And I wouldn’t be shocked if what the commission produces in the next round, is [also] thrown in the garbage.”

Chemung County Executive Christopher Moss confirmed with 18 News in December that he will not run for Congress in 2022.

Former New York 22nd Congressional District Congressman Anthony Brindisi also announced he will not run.

Elmira College business professor Matthew Burr said in March he was strongly considering a run.

The next primary election is set for June 28, 2022, and the general election is scheduled for November 8, 2022.