New York state Sen. Tim Kennedy has officially declared his candidacy for the Democratic nomination for New York's 26th Congressional District. He would replace Rep. Brian Higgins, who recently announced plans to retire in February 2024.

"When I grew up, much of my generation, including my own family, were forced to leave Buffalo and Western New York because opportunity didn't exist here. Brian Higgins' leadership changed that - he boldly put our community back on the map and opened doors that had been closed for decades," Sen. Kennedy said in a statement. "We've come a long way, but we're far from done. I'm running for Congress because I want my children, and all of our children, to have the opportunity to stay here and build a future for themselves and their families. I'll fight every day in Washington for our shared values and against the extremist Republican agenda that seeks to take away our rights. I will always fight to protect a woman's right to choose and work to strengthen our nation's gun laws to combat senseless gun violence like we've seen right here in our community."

Sen. Kennedy was sworn into office in January 2011.

By law, Gov. Kathy Hochul must call a special election within 10 days of being notified of a vacancy and the election then must happen between 70 and 80 days from that announcement.