Local Republican Party operatives are cautioning the eight County Chairmen who will select a candidate to replace Rep. Chris Collins’ name on the ballot in the 27th district.
They insist that the candidate must have the resume, savvy, energy, and tact to become Speaker of the House — a project that could take 20 years, and could mean billions in federal investment and priceless legislative influence for the region.
“We need to ignore the political fads, fleeting allegiances, and empty suits,” explains one footsoldier who often circulates petitions for Chairman Nick Langworthy.
“There will a temptation to choose a flashy name with the loudest, most angry mouth on the scene. That would be a costly mistake — and we would have to live with a feckless backbencher until he dies, retires, or gets bribed out of office…”
“The anointed must be someone with the intellectual heft to become Speaker of the House, the youth required to cultivate the requisite tenure, and the cunning to gainfully navigate and eventually dominate the chamber,” the committeeperson adds. “That narrows the field considerably.”
That sentiment seems to prevail among many committeemen, activists, and donors — who decidedly prefer a longterm replacement who can earn the region some serious clout — rather than a placeholder who might last two or three terms and then retire hurridly.
That thinking would disqualify candidates over a certain age — perhaps 55 years old. It would disqualify anyone lacking the intellectual heft to advance the region’s interests on all fronts — perhaps as evidenced by a graduate degree, civic achievement, or career performance.
Perhaps most significantly, it disqualifies anyone who lacks the tact required of a master-legislator — a position far different than that of a Governor or Executive, in whom the electorate would prefer more demanding and assertive traits.