A key downstate Republican chairman on Monday endorsed the re-election of Ed Cox as the state Republican chairman amid a challenge from Erie County’s GOP leader.

Westchester County Republican Chairman Doug Colety became the first major county chair to publicly support Cox’s bid for another term.

“Over the past ten years, Chairman Cox has played an invaluable role in our electoral success in Westchester County,” Colety said.

“Chairman Cox has always stood by Westchester and today I am proud to be standing by him. He has been a tremendous partner to our committee and a great friend to me personally and politically.”

Langworthy launched his long-anticipate bid for statewide chairman on Saturday, pledging to raise more money and recruit women and younger candidates for office.

Republicans have not won a statewide election since 2002, have struggled to grow enrollment in recent years and lost its final lever on statewide power with the state Senate flipping to Democratic control/.

But Colety pointed to Cox’s own fundraising abilities and support for local races.

“Under Chairman Cox’s leadership, the State Committee has raised over $52 million and developed a strong local assistance program that has helped us in races all across the state, and right here in Westchester County,” he said.

“Chairman Cox has been dedicated to serving our party as a full-time Chairman, taking no salary, donating his own personal resources, and leveraging his national relationships to help strengthen our party.”