Langworthy’s Goal: A Republican Governor

The woes of the Republican Party statewide in New York are well known: A 2-to-1 enrollment gap, shut out of statewide office, hasn’t held a statewide office since 2006 and in the minority in both chambers of the Legislature.

Incoming Republican Chairman Nick Langworthy, however, isn’t deterred.

“It’s an exciting time,” Langworthy said at an Albany press conference with outgoing Chairman Ed Cox. “I think we are going to show a renewed fighting spirit in the Republican Party.”

Langworthy’s goal is to elect a Republican to the governor’s office — a feat not achieved since George Pataki won a third term in 2002.

“Beyond 2020, my mission and goal is to get us to the point where a Republican to occupy the second floor of the state Capitol,” he said. “That will be our mission critical to put the infrastructure in place across this state in order to win a statewide election for the first time since 2002.”

The event at the state party headquarters a block up the street from the state Capitol was meant to serve as a hand-the-baton moment between Cox and Langworthy. It was a generational and political shift, as well. Cox, though he’s joining the campaign of President Donald Trump, was skeptical of the New Yorker’s campaign early on. And Langworthy has been aligned in the past with populist Republican figures like 2010 candidate for governor Carl Paladino.

Before winning statewide, Langworthy pointed to the push to build enrollment and small-dollar donors, using the disparate data of Republicans in the Legislature and county parties. Langworthy will officially become chairman in July. He was able to wrap up a series of endorsements from Republican chairs in a challenge to Cox for the chairmanship.

“The party is unified and we are passing the baton to a very vigorous new chair,” Cox said flanked next to Langworthy. “We are unified as a party with respect to the former chair, the new chair.”

But Republicans could face a daunting task again in 2020 after losing the state Senate majority and congressional seats over the last several cycles.

Trump, the first New Yorker to occupy the White House since Franklin Roosevelt, remains deeply unpopular in his home state. Langworthy, however, was hopeful the president would turn out to be a boon for Republicans in some districts.

“I think you have to look at the economy and what is going to be a pocketbook election,” he said. “And the Trump economy is on fire.”

NY-27: Chris Jacobs Responds To Criticism – ‘I Voted For The President’

In the midst of his 2016 campaign for state Senate, Republican Chris Jacobs appeared on Capital Tonight to discuss the race.

Before ending the interview, host Liz Benjamin slipped in one more question.

“We have talked about the Donald Trump factor in this race. Are you supportive of his candidacy?” she asked.

Jacobs quickly deflected, offering a similar answer as he had to other reporters who pushed the same issue.

“I am 100 percent focused on my campaign. I’m running for state office and that’s what all my efforts are going on right now and I just finished the primary and, as you said, this is going to be a steep hill to run this year and that’s all I’m focused on,” he replied.

The Republican’s stance throughout that campaign was his preference for president shouldn’t factor in to a state race. However, his reluctance to answer the question could be coming back to haunt him as he sets his sight on New York’s 27th Congressional District.

Since Jacobs announced his campaign for what’s widely considered the state’s reddest seat, the playbook of his potential rivals has been clear. They’ve called him a moderate and a “Never Trumper” and have already referenced that September 2016 interview with Benjamin several times.

The latest was a fundraising email from incumbent Rep. Chris Collins, R, who has not yet decided whether he’ll seek re-election but does not support Jacobs.

“With the radical Left laser-focused on resistance and obstruction, President Trump needs allies in Congress now more than ever,” Collins wrote. “Chris Jacobs may act like he’s that type of ally – but in reality, he’s a Never-Trumper who will say and do anything to get elected to his next office. We may not know who Jacobs voted for in 2016, but we do know he refused to support President Trump in 2016 when he was running for office in a Democrat district.”

On Tuesday, Jacobs was far more forthcoming about 2016 than he has in the past, perhaps trying to nip the criticism in the bud early.

“I voted for the president, I support his agenda and I’m running for Congress because the president needs somebody in the 27th congressional district who can win this seat in 2020 and help move his agenda in Congress,” he said.

He argued it is Collins, in fact, who is unable to support the Trump agenda because he is facing federal charges and his scope in office has been limited as a result.

Morelle Endorses Curry Mitchell For Monroe DA

Democratic Monroe County district attorney candidate Shani Curry Mitchell on Tuesday was endorsed by Rep. Joe Morelle in her bid for the office.

“We deserve a District Attorney who puts the people of Monroe County first,” Morelle said.

“Shani Curry-Mitchell has the experience, knowledge, and passion necessary to keep Monroe County families safe and protect our community. I am proud to support her candidacy and know she will work tirelessly to uphold the integrity and transparency of our justice system.”

Incumbent District Attorney Sandra Doorley, a Democrat-turned-Republican, was backed in February by the county GOP to seek re-election.

“I’m honored to have support of Rep. Joe Morelle,” Curry Mitchell said.

“Rep. Morelle is a strong advocate for working people and committed to building a safer and healthier Monroe County. Our county deserves a District Attorney who will hold companies accountable for wage theft, ensure local pharmaceutical companies are not taking advantage of vulnerable patients, and address unscrupulous business practices that hurt workers and hurt our local economy.”

Criminal Justice Advocates Urge DAs To implement Changes

From the Morning Memo:

A coalition of criminal justice reform advocates in a letter to district attorneys New York this week urged them to being the implementation of changes to laws governing cash bail and strengthening speedy trial protections.

The letter comes six weeks after state lawmakers and Gov. Andrew Cuomo agreed to changes that would end cash bail for misdemeanors and non-violent felonies in addition to increasing protections so that a person arrested is not waiting in a local jail for a trial.

Many of the changes are set to go into effect on Jan. 1 of next year. But the advocates are pushing district attorneys in the state to begin the phase in for them now.

“Actors in the criminal legal system have a responsibility to end draconian practices that gave rise to mass incarceration. Phasing in these reforms now is not only ethical; it’s responsible,” the letter stated. “Every prosecutor in the state should have experience doing their jobs in away that aligns with the new pretrial laws before they go into effect.”

The letter was signed by Alliance for Quality Education Legislative Director Jasmine Gripper, Working Families Party State Director Bill Lipton, New York Communities for Change Long Island Director Lucas Sanchez and Nick Encalada-Malinowski, the civil rights campaign director for VOCAL-NY.

Specifically, the letter is seeking prosecutors to share case evidence no later than 15 days after an arraignment, end seeking cash bail for charges in the “mandatory release” category of the new law and seek non-monetary forms of bail. They also want more people released before trial without conditions that are considered difficult to meet.

“In less than a year, your offices will be required to implement these common sense reforms to bail, discovery and speedy trial laws,” the letter states. “The New Yorkers who have elected you to office should not have to wait until January for the justice that you could offer now.”

Letter to New York State District Attorneys by Nick Reisman on Scribd

Western New Yorkers Praise Incoming State GOP Chair

From the Morning Memo:

Erie County Conservative Party Chairman Ralph Lorigo has worked with several Republican leaders over his 25-year tenure. He says Nick Langworthy, who has been the county GOP boss for almost a decade, compares favorably to all of them.

“I’ve had a good working relationship with a number of chairman,” Lorigo said. “Nick is a very aggressive, hardworking chairman who really knows how to get people involved and he knows how to get people elected.”

Langworthy appears to have successfully challenged state Chair Ed Cox, and will become the new head of the state party later this year, as Cox take a job with the Trump campaign. He’ll become the first chair from the Buffalo area in decades, and the youngest person ever to hold the post.

“Nick knows the people in Western New York,” Lorigo said. “He knows the candidates in Western New York. He will not forget Western New York. In fact, he told me he will continue to live here in Western New York. His home is here, his wife and child are here.”

“So Western New York will be a big part of what happens across the state. This gives Western New  Yorkers…people from upstate and the Western part of the state, the ability to move into statewide offices, the ability to know the chairman and have a close relationship with him, and to be able to bring our values throughout the state.”

As a young county chair, Langworthy made a name for himself in part by helping then-relatively unknown Buffalo businessman Carl Paladino get the GOP nomination for governor in 2010. Paladino was not the party’s choice, but he beat out former Long Island Rep. Rick Lazio in the September primary.

Paladino, a long-time Cox critic, praised Langworthy for challenging the establishment again.

“I think it took a lot of courage to go around the state and lobby each county chair for support,” he said. “It’s time we had a someone who represented the whole party.  This is the party of the working man. Ed Cox took us in the wrong direction. He wanted to hang out with high highfalutin types and stuffed shirts.  He was so far  out of touch it was high time for a change.”

Cox and Langworthy are planning to meet in Albany today, and will hold a joint press conference after their discussion.

Here and Now

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office has not yet released his public schedule for the day, if he has one.

The state Legislature is in session.

At 8:15 a.m., Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and New York City Councilwoman Helen Rosenthal attend the Lincoln Square Business Improvement District’s annual meeting, Fordham University School of Law, Costantino Room, Skadden Conference Center, 150 W. 62nd St., Manhattan.

At 9 a.m., the state Senate Committee on Health meets, Room 124, state Capitol, Albany.

Also at 9 a.m., state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli gives remarks at the Police Conference of New York Convention, High Peaks Resort, 2384 Saranac Ave., Lake Placid.

Also at 9 a.m., LG Kathy Hochul delivers remarks at the legislative breakfast for Prescribed to Death – a Memorial to Victims of the Opioid Crisis, Empire State Plaza convention center, Albany.

At 9:30 a.m., the state Senate Committee on Cities meets, Room 124, state Capitol, Albany.

Also at 9:30 a.m., NYC Councilmen Jimmy Van Bramer and Carlos Menchaca gather to urge the city to reconsider proposed cuts this year to libraries, City Hall steps, Manhattan.

Also at 9:30 a.m., the state Senate Committee on Higher Education meets, Room 913, Legislative Office Building, Albany.

Also at 9:30 a.m., the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission holds a public hearing, 1 Centre St., ninth floor, Manhattan.

At 9:45 a.m., state Sen. David Carlucci and Assemblywoman Amy Paulin hold a press conference calling on lawmakers to ban the sale of crib bumper pads, fourth floor lobby, state Capitol, Albany.

At 10 a.m., the NYC Council Committee on Finance meets jointly with the Committee on Cultural Affairs, Libraries and International Intergroup Relations, the Committee on Sanitation and Solid Waste Management and the Committee on Transportation, Council chamber, City Hall, Manhattan.

Also at 10 a.m., the state Senate Committee on Consumer Protection meets, Room 901, Legislative Office Building, Albany.

Also at 10 a.m., the state Senate Committee on Finance meets, Room 124, state Capitol, Albany.

Also at 10 a.m., the state Senate Committee on Elections meets, Room 904, Legislative Office Building, Albany.

Also at 10 a.m., state Sens. Gustavo Rivera and Tim Kennedy hold a press conference highlighting amendments to Dakota’s Law and calling for its swift passage, LCA Press Room, Legislative Office Building, Room 130, Albany.

At 10:30 a.m., the state Senate Committee on Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities meets, Room 946A, state Capitol, Albany.

At 10:45 a.m., state Republican Chairman Ed Cox and Erie County Republican Chairman Nick Langworthy will hold a joint press conference following their transition meeting in Albany, NYGOP Headquarters, 315 State St.

At 11 a.m., Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. and New York City Councilwoman Diana Ayala celebrate the opening of Tres Puentes, a 175-unit affordable senior housing campus, 295 E. 138th St., Bronx.

Also at 11 a.m., Hochul delivers remarks at the NYS Emergency Medical Services Providers memorial service, Empire State Plaza, Tree of Life Memorial, Albany.

Also at 11 a.m., state Assemblyman David Weprin participates in the New York State Council for the Interstate Compact for Adult Offender Supervision’s Spring Meeting, DCJS Alfred E. Smith Office Building, 80 South Swan St., Room 118, Albany.

Also at 11 a.m., Suffolk Legislator Kara Hahn joins County Executive Steve Bellone, Krista Bertschi, who lost her son Anthony to substance abuse in 2017, and local sports coaches to announce a new program to provide substance abuse training to high school athletic coaches to further combat addiction among student athletes, Ward Melville High School, 380 Old Town Rd., East Setauket.

At 11:15 a.m., a statewide coalition of environmentalists and climate activists advocate for statewide climate legislation that would block all new fossil fuel infrastructure projects and transition to 100 percent renewable energy by the year 2030, Senate Gallery, state Capitol, Albany.

At noon, the state Senate Committee on Children and Families meets, Room 915, Legislative Office Building, Albany.

Also at noon, state Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal and state Sen. Jessica Ramos hold a press conference, Legislative Office Building, LCA Pressroom 130, Albany.

Also at noon, leaders from major national labor and civil rights groups will stand with Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes and other elected officials and members of the Start SMART NY coalition to call for marijuana regulation for adult use to address the devastating impact of marijuana prohibition on families and communities, Million Dollar Staircase, state Capitol, Albany.

Also at noon, NYC Councilman Rory Lancman, candidate for Queens District Attorney, announces his plan for protecting “revenge porn” victims, Goldberg PLLC, 16 Court St., 33rd floor, Brooklyn.

At 12:30 p.m., Hochul discusses career opportunities in state government at NYS 4-H Capital Days, NYS Museum, Huxley Theater, 222 Madison Ave., Albany.

Also at 12:30, Assembly Republican lawmakers will hold a press conference to push for the passage of Ramona’s Law, back of the Assembly chamber, third floor, state Capitol, Albany.

At 1 p.m., state Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas holds a press conference to discuss legislation to expand protections for employees experiencing harassment and discrimination, Million Dollar Staircase, state Capitol, Albany.

Also at 1 p.m., Hochul highlights New York’s efforts as an “age-friendly” state at the Older New Yorkers Appreciation Day, The Egg, Hart Lounge, Empire State Plaza, Albany.

At 2 p.m., Rep. Carolyn Maloney will celebrate the 10 year anniversary of the CARD Act at the House Triangle with various consumer groups, Washington, D.C.

At 3 p.m., the state state Senate is in session, Senate chamber, state Capitol, Albany.

At 5:30 p.m., Planned Parenthood of New York City and its supporters will speak out and fight back to #StopTheBans on abortion, as part of a National Day of Action, Foley Square, Manhattan. (NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio will deliver remarks at approximately 6 p.m., and LG Kathy Hochul will also speak).

At 6:30 p.m., Diaz Jr. hosts his annual Dominican Culture & Heritage Celebration, Bronx County Building, Veterans’ Memorial Hall, 851 Grand Concourse, Bronx.

At 7 p.m., DiNapoli attends the Legislative Correspondents’ Association Show, The State Room, 100 State St., Albany.

Headlines…

A federal judge in Washington has ruled against President Donald Trump in a financial records dispute with Congress, saying he cannot block the House subpoena of financial records.

House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler is threatening to hold former White House counsel Don McGahn in contempt if he does not testify publicly today before Congress.

Standing in front of thousands of supporters at a rally in north central Pennsylvania, Trump leveled multiple attacks on former Vice President Joe Biden, who leads Trump in an early poll in the state.

“Don’t forget: Biden deserted you,” Trump told the crowd as he was ending his speech at a campaign rally in Montoursville. “He left you for another state.”

Despite backlash from Trump and Republican leadership, Rep. Justin Amash has renewed his calls for impeachment and explained why the president’s supporters are wrong about his innocence.

“I’ve known him and he’s been against Trump from the beginning,” the president told reporters outside the White House when asked about Amash’s comments. “He probably wants to run for some other office. I don’t think he’d do very well. He’s been a loser for a long time.”

Trump lashed out at The New York Times, disputing the paper’s reporting on his relationship with Deutsche Bank and launching into a broader criticism of the news media.

Sen. Christopher Coons, a Delaware Democrat, said that several of his Republican colleagues had “privately expressed concerns” about the findings of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russia’s election interference and the Trump campaign.

Michael Cohen told lawmakers one of Trump’s personal attorneys asked him to falsely testify to Congress and told him the president was considering granting him a pardon to “shut down” the Russia investigation, according to transcripts of Cohen’s two private interviews with the House Intelligence Committee.

Cohen also said that he had discussed the possibility of a “global pardon” with one of the president’s attorneys – a move that Cohen said was meant to “shut this whole thing down.”

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos used her personal email accounts for government business in “limited” cases and did not always properly save messages, according to an internal investigation released yesterday.

The Environmental Protection Agency plans to change the way it calculates the health risks of air pollution, a shift that would make it easier to roll back a key climate change rule because it would result in far fewer predicted deaths from pollution.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio’s pipe-dream presidential campaign has quietly opened a headquarters in Downtown Brooklyn that’s operating with a tiny staff and limited resources, he revealed.

New presidential candidate de Blasio already has spent far more time in key battleground states this year than in Albany, despite the fact that a battle over renewing the NYC rent laws is looming, his public schedule shows.

De Blasio launched a probe of the NYC taxi market following a damning report that claimed industry leaders duped drivers with predatory loans and artificially inflated the costs of cab medallions for years, leading to their eventual collapse.

The state attorney general’s office also said it had opened an inquiry into more than a decade of lending practices that left thousands of immigrant taxi drivers in crushing debt. The efforts marked the government’s first steps toward addressing a crisis that has engulfed the city’s yellow cab industry.

NYC Department of Education brass are targeting a “white-supremacy culture” among school administrators by disparaging ideas like “individualism,” “objectivity” and “worship of the written word.”

State lawmakers are looking to fatten pensions of the most recently hired government workers by undoing some Tier 6 reforms that were approved to control runaway costs.

Legislation passed in the state Senate would allow law enforcement and firefighters to carry EpiPens to help save lives.

New York City’s economy remained strong in the first quarter of the year, buoyed by record-low unemployment, according to a report by Comptroller Scott Stringer.

More >

Assembly Approves Final Passage Of 3-D Gun Ban

A bill that would ban the manufacturing and distribution of guns constructed through 3-D printing technology is heading to the desk of Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

The bill was granted final passage on Monday in the Democratic-controlled state Assembly, 111-22. It was previously approved this month by the Democratic-controlled Senate.

“As rates of gun violence increase across the country, New York continues to lead the way in prevention by passing common sense gun safety legislation,” said Speaker Carl Heastie. “This bill demonstrates our commitment to keeping our kids and communities safe through thoughtful and comprehensive legislation.”

The bill follows a package of gun control measures approved during this legislative session, including the approval of a “red flag” law that is meant to keep guns away from those deemed to be too dangerous, bar teachers and school employees from being armed, and a ban on the sale or possession of bump stocks.

“The Assembly Majority remains dedicated to protecting our communities from gun violence,” said Assembly Codes Committee Chair Joseph Lentol. “This bill will add to the comprehensive common sense gun safety legislation already in effect in New York by keeping undetectable weapons off our streets.”

After Amazon Deal Falls Through, Opponents Call For Changes To Economic Development

The Amazon deal for Queens may have been scuttled, but state lawmakers are now taking aim at the process itself for how economic development deals come together in New York.

State lawmakers and advocates at a rally at the Capitol Monday pushed for changes to how the state attracts major economic development projects and the effect those projects can have on communities.

“Any projects or most projects that seem to go through the Empire State Development Corporation reek of corporation or overall disengagement from the communities they impact,” said Sen. Jessica Ramos, a Queens Democrat.

Sen. Mike Gianaris, a prominent critic of the Amazon proposal, wants to pass a measure that would require a community impact study be conducted before a major project is undertaken.

He’s argued the Amazon deal lacked transparency — and this would change that for future proposals.

“No matter if you were for or against the specific project in Long Island City,” Gianaris said at the rally, “we can all agree the process stunk and the process was not considerate of the people who live in these communities or the effect these economic development policies have on the people of the state of New York as opposed to the benefits for these wealthy corporations.”

The rally at the Capitol was attended by progressive advocates as well as members of Make The Road New York, a group that has had financial ties to the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, which opposed the Amazon project amid a push to unionize workers at Whole Foods, which the company owns.

But many of these projects promise jobs for areas like upstate New York, which has lagged behind the rest of the country in recovering from the recession. Assemblyman Phil Steck says the proposal wouldn’t scuttle future Amazon-size projects.

“That’s the boogie man that’s always trotted out there that if you don’t concede what a company like Amazon wants its a deterrent for jobs,” Steck said. “It’s exactly the opposite.”

It’s not yet clear if any of the proposals meant to reign in economic development spending or add transparency will pass. Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie says he’s yet to review the measure.

“I think the more that you could have supporting a project of that magnitude, the better,” Assembly Carl Heastie told reporters outside of his office. “But I haven’t had a chance to read through that proposal.”

A spokesman for Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office declined to comment.

Extras

President Donald Trump called for an investigation into financial ties between China and the family of former Vice President J0e Biden, the current front-runner in a crowded Democratic 2020 field, and the candidate Trump’s advisers believe could pose the biggest potential threat to his re-election.

Two days after GOP Rep. Justin Amash claimed that Trump committed impeachable offenses, a Michigan state representative has stepped forward to challenge him in the primary election. ​

Trump is preparing to instruct his former White House counsel, Donald McGahn, to defy a congressional subpoena and skip a hearing scheduled for tomorrow, denying Democrats testimony from one of the most important eyewitnesses to the president’s attempts to obstruct the Russia investigation.

The U.S. government says a 16-year-old Guatemalan died today at a Border Patrol station in South Texas, the fifth death of a migrant child apprehended by border agents since December.

Trump has grown increasingly willing in recent months to use profanity, saying in public what most of his predecessors tried to keep behind closed doors.

Keith Raniere kicked, whipped and planned to jail women in a “dungeon” for what he viewed as their indiscretions as part of his secret “master/slave” club, former NXIVM official Lauren Salzman testified.

Membership in the “sex cult” NXIVM required a vow of secrecy about all things related to its leader — including the location of his 15-year-old mistress, Salzman said.

A witness who reported that a man was walking with a rifle this morning on Route 146 – a sighting that prompted Shenendehowa to lock-in students – may have mistaken an umbrella for a weapon, Saratoga County sheriff’s investigators said.

Cuomo declared a state of emergency for eight counties affected by rising water levels on Lake Ontario, including Jefferson, Oswego and St. Lawrence that runs through Sept. 1.

Queens Democrats are hosting the mayor Wednesday for a “fireside chat” about his 2020 White House bid — South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, that is.

Buttigieg has been spending almost 50 percent of his time away from South Bend, since February after he announced his exploratory committee for president in January.

A meatpacking company owned by a pair of shady Brazilian brothers already under scrutiny for receiving $62 million in federal bailouts was given another turn at the government trough, receiving $2 million more from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The scores of New York’s nursing homes dipped to an average of 3.19 out of 5 stars in the federal government’s latest Nursing Home Compare report card, down from 3.33 in January. But the state average remains better than the national average.

Subway trains are running the best they have in a half decade, with trains arriving on schedule about 80 percent of the time on weekdays in April – though not yet to the standard of New York City Transit President Andy Byford.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio has turned to Facebook in an 11th hour scramble to meet the 65,000 donor threshold that would help him secure a coveted spot in the first Democratic presidential candidates’ debate next month.

EJ McMahon: “New York’s Common Retirement Fund (CRF) fell nearly two percentage points short of its investment earnings target last year – and the state’s other major public pension funds are on the same sub-par track.” (He’s not surprised).

Although puzzled by how long it’s taking, all three state legislators representing Seneca County are confident that Cuomo will sign the Finger Lakes Community Preservation Act of 2019.

Live Nation says Cardi B has postponed her upcoming concert at St. Joseph’s Health Amphitheater at Lakeview due to “circumstances beyond her control.”

Many of the properties likely to face fines under New York City’s recently adopted “Green New Deal” are older brick apartment buildings across the city, and the prospect has residents fretting about the costs and consequences.

An upstate New York doctor is fighting a $50 fine on principle — and so far it’s cost her $60,000.

Fifty years ago, Catholic priests who sexually abused children in the Buffalo Diocese would have no worries about getting arrested. But they had to worry about something else: Monsignor Franklin M. Kelliher, a stocky, tough-as-nails former boxing champion who also fought as a professional wrestler known as “The Masked Marvel.”

Needing cash, facing declining membership, and reeling from a Department of Justice investigation that could land its former director in prison next month, the legendary Friars Club is hoping for a return to its former glory with some modern touches.

Ed Cox To Relinquish State Chairmanship

New York Republican Chairman Ed Cox in a statement on Monday formally announced he would step aside at the end of his term as chairman to make way for Nick Langworthy.

Cox will join President Donald Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign to serve on its finance committee.

“Serving as Chairman of the NYGOP over the last ten years has been one of the most rewarding chapters of my life, and I will continue to actively help elect more Republicans here in New York,” Cox said in the statement

“I will be fulfilling the remainder of my term, and in the process, work to unify the Party and ensure a smooth transition for Chairman Langworthy.”

Langworthy, the Erie County Republican chair, had challenged Cox for the chairmanship post, racking up enough county chair endorsements on Monday to near a majority.

Over the last decade, Republicans have struggled to retain control of the state Senate, losing its last lever of power last year in a landslide.

Republicans have won statewide office in New York since 2002.

“I congratulate Nick Langworthy for lining up the support he needs to become our next Republican State Party Chairman,” said Senate Minority Leader John Flanagan. “Over the last few years, I have gotten to know Nick and found him to be a talented and charismatic leader, who knows what it takes to attract good candidates and win in a blue county.”