Two Republican allies of President Donald Trump running in House races appeared likely to win their races on Tuesday, underscoring how the president remains popular with his GOP base in upstate New York.
Chris Jacobs, a state senator, declared victory late Tuesday in his special election to replace disgraced former Rep. Chris Collins in western New York.
Former Rep. Claudia Tenney also appeared headed toward winning the GOP nomination in the 22nd Congressional District against George Phillips in a Republican primary.
Both contests still await certification from the massive amount of absentee ballots that were cast due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Trump has taken an active interest in both races.
The president appeared in a virtual town hall for Jacobs this week and has endorsed his candidacy multiple times in recent weeks. Collins, who left office after pleading guilty to insider trading, had been an early and staunch ally for Trump when he first ran for president in 2016.
The western New York district is one of the darkest shades of red in upstate New York and overwhelmingly voted for Trump four years ago.
In central New York, Trump personally campaigned for Tenney in 2018, appearing at a fundraiser for her in Utica that year. Members of his family, too, have appeared and campaigned with her as she seeks to win back the seat she lost to Democratic Rep. Anthony Brindisi.
New York as a whole is almost certainly not going to flip to Trump this year given its overwhelming Democratic makeup. But a New York Republican delegation, composed of backers like Reps. Elise Stefanik and Lee Zeldin, could include once again more full-throated supporters of the president.