Politics in Western New York has been pretty interesting over the last few months. What is normally a pretty predictable political process in the 716 had a wrench thrown into it a few months ago when longtime Buffalo Congressman Brian Higgins announced he was stepping down from his seat in the US House of Representatives.

When that announcement was made, there was all sorts of speculation about why he was stepping away from Congress and, inevitably, who would replace him in representing the interests of Western New York.

In his announcement, Congressman Higgins referenced one of the primary reasons he was stepping away from Congress was that things in the House of Representatives had changed over his tenure, and that change has not been all good, in fact, some of it wasn't nice at all.

Too often elected officials chase the twenty-four-hour news cycle, focusing on the issue of the day, and when you look back there is little to show for it.
-Brian Higgins

When Higgins leaves office in February 2024, his exit will leave a vacancy in the House of Representatives that must be filled and New York State law requires a special election be held, but who will fill that seat?

We're one step closer to an answer to that question as the Erie County Democrats have officially endorsed a candidate to run in the special election.

Erie County Democrats Endorse State Senator Tim Kennedy For Congress

In a special ceremony on Thursday, January 12, 2024, Erie County Democratic Chairman Jeremy Zellner announced that Tim Kennedy will receive their endorsement in the special election to be held in February.

The 47-year-old Kennedy was one of three people who were vetted by Dems before they made their selection. Former Grand Island Supervisor Nate McMurray and Erie County Legislator Jeanne Vinal were the other potential candidates.

The special election, for which a date hasn't been set yet, is expected to happen in April. New York State law requires the election to happen within 80 days of a vacancy. That date cannot be confirmed until Congressman Higgins resigns his seat, which he's scheduled to do on Friday, February 2, 2024.

The special election isn't the end of this saga. That election is only to fill the remainder of the current Congressional term. The regular election is still set to happen on its regular schedule later this year.

Who Will Replace Rep. Higgins In Congress?

The surprise resignation of Brian Higgins opens the field for someone to fill his seat in the US Congress, but who should it be? These people have been mentioned as the most likely candidates.

Gallery Credit: Ed Nice

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