What has traditionally been one of the most competitive state Senate districts in New York is starting to look like it could be a runaway for Democrats in 2020.
The incumbent Republican in the 60th District, Chris Jacobs, is considered one of the favorites to get the GOP nod for New York’s 27th Congressional District. Meanwhile, Democrat Sean Ryan, currently in the state Assembly, is making a strong push to replace him.
According to his January campaign finance filing, Ryan already has roughly $375,000 in the bank despite spending more than $25,000 this reporting period. The candidate has held several fundraisers and collected about $75,000 this period in just individual contributions.
“Our strong fundraising start indicates broad support from throughout the 60th Senate District, and from key partners like those in organized labor who will help bring our campaign to victory in 2020. Western New York values are a part of who I am,” Ryan said. “Growing up in Lackawanna, I was taught the value of hard work and that nothing gets handed to you. I also know government has a role in building a strong and equitable economy. In the State Senate, I’ll continue the work to build a better future for Western New York by helping the most vulnerable in society, restoring trust in state government, fighting for an economy that works for everyone, and helping Western New York families with the problems they face.”
On the Republican side, a candidate has yet to emerge. There was some talk about former Erie County Executive Joel Giambra considering challenging Ryan but the Buffalo News reported last week Giambra is now battling kidney failure.
Former Erie County Legislator and county executive candidate Lynne Dixon also is a party favorite, but Dixon recently took a full-time job with the County Comptroller’s office. It’s unclear at this point if any Republicans are actively pushing for the nomination.
Ryan’s strong bank account will likely make the task more daunting. The situation is perhaps symbolic of what could be a difficult 2020 for state Senate Republicans in general, with nine incumbents planning to vacate their seats for various reasons.