For western New York Republicans, Donald Trump’s candidacy has had added resonance for a region of the state that’s long felt forgotten and ignored.

At the same time, Republicans only two years ago sought to recruit Trump to run for governor against Democratic incumbent Andrew Cuomo, with much of that push coming from western New York GOP leaders.

“His message really resonates in upstate, especially in western New York, a place that’s been down on its luck for a while,” said Erie County Chairman Nick Langworthy. “To talk about restoring America to the greatness we once enjoyed, that really hits them in the heart.”

Cuomo lost the western swath of the state in 2010 during his successful run for a first term as governor. Since then, Cuomo has focused on the region of the state, showering economic development aid to the area. The Buffalo Billion, as well as key economic development projects in upstate New York, is now under scrutiny by the U.S. attorney’s office.

Langworthy, as well as other New York GOPers, is especially critical of how the Buffalo Billion has been handled by the Cuomo administration.

Nevertheless, he’s rooting for any jobs that can take root in the area to remain.

Trump’s campaign has been a mix of economic populism and trade protectionism, criticizing the nation’s current immigration policies as well.

Trump has also shied away from social issues that have typically enlivened a Republican base elsewhere in the country, but necessarily moderate-to-liberal New York.

“I think it’s economics and the whole idea of making New York great again,” said Assemblyman Ray Walter. “We’ve seen hard times in Buffalo, western New York and much of the Rust Belt because some of the trade deals. I think the message Donald Trump puts out there really appeals to those disaffected workers who have not seen some of those good times.”

There is a blueprint for Trump in western New York: Carl Paladino’s bombastic 2010 run for governor against Cuomo. While Paladino lost handily statewide, he was able to harness the anger at establishment politics in parts of New York.

“With Carl Paladino in 2010, the same type of profile, businessman, outspoken. He wants to come in and shake things up,” Walter said. “That played very well in 2010 and I think you have that same type of sentiment here with Donald Trump in western New York.”