It’s been almost three decades since a Republican last held the Erie County District Attorney’s office. County Chairman Nick Langworthy is trying to change that this year.

“I absolutely think it’s attainable,” Langworthy said. “Some are afraid of the Presidential year. I’ll point to just the last Presidential election, 2012. Stefan Mychajliw was elected our Erie County Comptroller in 2012 so a Republican can win countywide in a Presidential year.”

There’s nearly a two to one Democratic enrollment advantage but local GOP candidates have been successful in most other countywide races. Besides the Comptroller seat, Republicans have held the Erie County Sheriff’s Office since 1998.

Langworthy has organized a panel, led by former New York State Attorney General Dennis Vacco. He says the other members of the panel have “several careers worth of experience” and will find the best candidate to return the job to the GOP.

“Our mission is to put the most qualified individual on the Republican line this year that can be the next district attorney and have the qualifications and electability to be the next district attorney,” he said.