ny19From the Morning Memo:

A third Republican is looking at joining the 2016 race to replace Rep. Chris Gibson, who is retiring at the end of the year with an eye toward a possible run for governor in 2018.

Robert Bishop, a Delaware County native, local farmer and self-described “close personal friend” of Gibson’s, says he plans to soon formally announce his candidacy for the seat.

“I have been considering running for Congress for some time, and the next cycle looks like the best opportunity,” Bishop wrote in an email to CapTon.

“I have worked closely for Chris since he first campaigned, and now that he has announced he is not running again, I certainly think I am the one who can step up and continue the successes for NY-19 that he has achieved.”

Bishop, who has held several local elected posts, but has never before run for an office of this level, said he will provide an outsider’s view of politics.

So far, two Republicans – former Assembly Minority Leader and 206 GOP gubernatorial candidate John Faso and businessman Andrew Heaney – have declared their intentions to run for Gibson’s seat.

The congressman says he will not be issuing any formal endorsements in the primary, but the entire GOP House delegation from New York (save for Gibson himself) will be participating in an Oct. 6 fundraiser in Washington, D.C. for Faso.

Additionally, two members of the Assembly Republican conference – Steve McLaughlin and Pete Lopez – have expressed an interest in running in NY-19, but have not yet declared their intentions.

Gibson easily defeated self-funding Democratic newcomer Sean Eldridge in 2014. Eldridge has said he will not run again next year. John Patrick Kehoe, the 29-year-old CEO and chair of Yellowcake Music, is so far the only Democrat to have filed with the FEC to run in 2016.

Ulster County Executive Mike Hein is considered a top contender for the seat, should he decide to run, though he’s seeking re-election to his current post this fall. And former Sen. Terry Gipson’s name has also been mentioned, though he also might opt for a re-match against the Republican who beat him last year, Sen. Sue Serino.