CORNING, NY (WIVB) — A special election for New York’s 23rd congressional district will be held on August 23. That election will coincide with the first day of the state’s Congress and Senate.
Congressional seat is open after Rep. Tom Reed resigned earlier this month. Reed, who represented the Southern Tier in Congress for nearly 12 years, now works for a Washington-based government relations firm.
Reed announced his resignation on the floor of the House of Representatives on May 10. The website of the clerk of the House of Representatives says that his resignation was effective that day. But state officials say they did not receive his resignation officially and correctly, preventing them from holding special elections earlier.
“A letter to the Governor is not a proper dismissal. You must send the letter to the Minister of Foreign Affairs,” said government leader Kathy Hochul on Wednesday. “Now that may seem like a technicality. But those are the kind of technicalities that a judge would look at and say, ‘You didn’t follow it. That’s why this is invalid.’”
Later Wednesday morning, State Department officials said everything was fine.
“Congressman Reed tendered his resignation directly to Secretary of State (Robert) Rodriguez this morning,” a DOS official told News 4. “This meets the requirements of Section 31 of the Public Officials Act.”
The Public Officials Act gives Hochul 10 days to issue a proclamation for a special election, due 70-80 days after that. This means that she can call the special election for August 23 on June 4.
Reed says it will. A Hochul spokesperson says the governor will “follow the process set out by law and issue a proclamation announcing a special election that will align with the recently set election date of August 23.”
“Very frustrating, but glad it all seems done,” Reed said in an email. Reed said he was “clear and sincere” with state officials throughout the trial.
Whoever wins the special election in the 23rd congressional district will keep that seat for the rest of the year. Beginning in 2023, the district will be redrawn to include part of Erie County and exclude Tomkins, Tioga, Seneca, Yates, and Ontario counties. The elections for the redesigned district will take place in November.
Reed announced last year that he would not run for re-election to Congress after a misconduct claim against him appeared in the Washington Post. He was accused of tampering with a lobbyist’s bra and undoing it in a bar in Minneapolis in 2017. Reed publicly apologized to the woman.