Erie County Chairman Nick Langworthy is an influential figure in New York State’s Grand Old Party. He is credited for building a robust political apparatus in a county that is enrolled nearly 2-to-1 Democrat. Under his leadership, local Republicans have one the County Comptrollers Office, the County Clerk’s Office, the Sheriff’s Office, and solid majority control of the County Legislature.
That’s a solid record of accomplishment that has earned Langworthy deserved esteem in the statewide party and among the party’s traditional donor base. Despite recent criticism over his selection of a little known right wing Assemblyman for County Executive, when Langworthy talks, State Chairman Ed Cox listens — and worries.
With that kind of influence, his critics say that he should be more assertive of the region’s political influence, and harvest the bipartisan discontent of late. In the context of the current leadership battle in the State Senate, Langworthy should be in Albany whipping votes behind the scenes for Western New York’s Cathy Young and actively promoting the possiblity, they say.
A Senate Majority Leader from Western New York would yield the region unprecedented political influence in Albany — an enormous lever with which to advance the region’s agenda. Organizing that chamber’s Republican caucus behind the Young candidacy and rallying the business community to effectuate that chamber’s votes is a task well suited for Langworthy.
And, if he does decide to throw around his weight in the Senate leadership battle, it wouldn’t be without personal benefit. Observers postulate that, if accomplished, it would likely lead to Langworthy becoming state chairman. Imagine the regional clout then.
But first it would take the business community stepping up and providing the leadership that it will take to woo, coalesce, and placate political interests in a geographically diverse caucus. Tony Goia, Jeremy Jacobs, Bob Rich, Tom Golisano, Terry Pegula, Bob Willmers, — where is your leadership?