More than a decade ago, Nick Langworthy was something of a renegade within Republican politics statewide. At the time, he was the Erie County chairman for the party, backing a little-known businessman named Carl Paladino for governor.
But Langworthy for the last two years has taken the helm of the statewide party, replacing longtime chairman Ed Cox with a vow of reinvigorating a party that has not won a statewide election since 2002, and is out of power in Albany.
But Republicans from around the state are betting on him. Langworthy on Monday was unanimously re-elected to another term as the party's leader in New York, a year before what could be a wide-open campaign for governor, potentially even attorney general.
Langworthy this summer declared Rep. Lee Zeldin the party's preferred nominee for governor after the Long Island House member secured the lion's share of county-level endorsements and made winning back the governor's office a key priority.
“When I took the helm of the NYGOP two years ago, I made a promise that we were going to revitalize this party and usher in a new fighting spirit,” Langworthy said. “We set our sights squarely on taking out corrupt Andrew Cuomo and our ultimate mission of taking back the governor’s office. Two years later, we are celebrating one goal down and we are well on our way to our next when we will elect a Republican governor to save our state. We are gearing up for a national red wave, and I’m so honored to lead our party as we march toward victory.”
But statewide elections are uphill battles for Republicans. Outnumbered in enrollment, the party could also face the headwinds of a redistricting plan drawn by the Democratic supermajorities in the state Legislature.