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GOP Chairman Nick Langworthy's Future Looks...

“Dark with no dawn,” says one Republican insider, who asked not to be identified.

The young Nick Langworthy’s team has now lost two critical races: First, Democrat Kathy Hochul defeated Republican Jane Corwin for a Congressional seat that was been Republican for 150 years. Corwin’s hapless campaign was entirely in the hands of Langworthy and his compatriots from Chris Collins’s political machine. (“My bunch of 20-something-year-olds,” Collins called them in his concession speech.) And now Collins has lost, despite the formidable advantages of incumbency and a boatload of money.

Langworthy also fumbled two lesser races in 2010: First, Jack Quinn III’s race for New York State Senate, in which Quinn had money and name recognition on his side, as well as the presence of two Democrats on the ballot, incumbent Bill Stachowski and Tim Kennedy, splitting the Democrats in the district. Despite Stachowski siphoning away 18 percent of the vote, Kennedy won, and Quinn is still looking for an opportunity to get back into public office.

Second, in the same election year, Langworthy backed his predecessor in the chairmanship, Jim Domagalski, in a bid for the retiring Dale Volker’s New York State Senate seat. Domagalski lost that race to fellow Republican Pat Gallivan.

After Corwin’s loss, a movement built to replace Langworthy, but no one was interested in the largely thankless job. (Not entirely thankless, of course: Langworthy is a partner in a company that was paid by Collins to do polling for the campaign, so he found some benefit in the position, beyond the salary.) After Tuesday, that movement has been rekindled, and this time Langworthy’s detractors are not insurgents looking to seize control but party stalwarts: town chairs, committee members, big campaign donors.

One quarter to which Republicans might look for new leadership is the Chris Jacobs camp. The race between Jacobs and Democrat Maria Whyte hangs on anywhere between 8,000 and 12,000 absentee ballots yet to be counted, although Jacobs’s lead is so wide—3,930 votes at press time—that Whyte is unlikely to make up enough ground. Interestingly, Jacobs actually pulled 1,301 more votes than Collins did at the top of the GOP ticket, which may be taken as evidence that, regardless of what they may think of his qualifications, voters like Jacobs. They don’t especially like Collins.

One of the potential successors to Langworthy considered after the Corwin loss was A. J. Baynes, Jr., from Gallivan’s office. Baynes helped to run the Jacobs campaign, and beat Langworthy last year in the State Senate race.

> Geoff Kelly

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