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Tom Reynolds did indeed become the 29th Republican House Member to say he was calling it quits.


Reynolds Out; Human Events Called it First

Tom Reynolds did indeed become the 29th Republican House Member to say he was calling it quits.

Friday, Capitol Hill and Republicans from Washington to Buffalo, New York were stunned by the news that Rep. Tom Reynolds (R.-NY) has decided not to seek re-election this fall.  Five-termer Reynolds, a past chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, had raised more than $1 million for an anticipated re-election bid and his press secretary L.D. Platt had insisted to me that rumors of his boss’s exodus from Congress were “ridiculous.”  But Tom Reynolds did indeed become the 29th Republican House Member to say he was calling it quits in ’08.  

Surprised?  You wouldn’t have been had you been reading HUMAN EVENTS.  In our February 25th “Capital Briefs” feature, as we reported on the ongoing NRCC auditing scandal and the toll it has taken on GOP lawmakers, we also noted that “rumors were brewing that the next Republican retiree from Congress would be Rep. Tom Reynolds (N.Y.), who chaired the NRCC during the ’06 cycle when much of the misreporting of funds occurred. Reynolds’ spokesmen had not returned our calls at press time.”  (Eventually spokesman Platt did reach me to disparage the retirement rumors; Washington “superlobbyist” Dan Mattoon, a close friend of Reynolds,  also contacted me to say that, as far as he knew, the 57-year-old Reynolds was running again.)

Reynolds’ 26th District has had a rich history of Republican representation for 38 years.  Jack Kemp put the district in the GOP column when he won his first term back in 1970.  After Kemp relinquished the district to run for President in 1988, he was succeeded by fellow conservative Republican and State Assemblyman Bill Paxon.  In his decade as congressman, Paxon became a national figure as NRCC chairman in the year Republicans took the House (1994) and for marrying fellow New York Republican Rep. and 1996 national convention keynoter Susan Molinari.  In 1998, Paxon astonished pundits who saw him as a future House leader by announcing his retirement, and Reynolds — who had followed Paxon in the county and state legislatures — now followed him by winning his congressional seat.

But after a promising start by winning the NRCC chairmanship during the ’04 elections, Reynolds ran into rough waters as his party lost their House majority in ’06 (as he was completing his stint as chairman).  More recently, he has been dogged by the scandal surrounding former NRCC Treasurer Christopher Ward and the estimated $1 million missing from the committee coffers.

With only three of the five remaining GOP House Members from the Empire State seeking re-election, the seat of Reynolds — like the Syracuse-area district of retiring Republican Rep. James Walsh — could easily go Democratic.  Multimillionaire industrialist Jack Davis, who almost unseated Reynolds in ’06. is running again and expected to use his own wealth to secure the Democratic nomination.  But teacher and Iraq War veteran Jon Powers "is supported" by 5 Democratic county committees in the district and, according to the Buffalo News,  "and sources say he also has a good shot" with Erie County Democrats. Lawyer Alice Kryzan is also seeking the Democratic nomination .

The leading Republican contender is State Sen. George Maziarz, chairman of the Senate Energy Committee.  Assemblyman  James Hayes and former Assembly Minority Leader Charles Nesbitt, also Reynolds-style moderate-conservatives, are mulling the race.

Written By

John Gizzi has come to be known as ???the man who knows everyone in Washington??? and, indeed, many of those who hold elected positions and in party leadership roles throughout the United States. With his daily access to the White House as a correspondent, Mr. Gizzi offers readers the inside scoop on what???s going on in the nation???s capital. He is the author of a number of popular Human Events features, such as ???Gizzi on Politics??? and spotlights of key political races around the country. Gizzi also is the host of ???Gizzi???s America,??? video interviews that appear on Gizzi got his start at Human Events in 1979 after graduating from Fairfield University in Connecticut and then working for the Travis County (Tex.) Tax Assessor. He has appeared on hundreds of radio and TV shows, including Fox News Channel, C-SPAN, America's Voice,The Jim Bohannon Show, Fox 5, WUSA 9, America's Radio News Network and is also a frequent contributor to the BBC -- and has appeared on France24 TV and German Radio. He is a past president of the Georgetown Kiwanis Club, past member of the St. Matthew's Cathedral's Parish Council, and secretary of the West End Friends of the Library. He is a recipient of the William A. Rusher Award for Journalistic Excellence and was named Journalist of the Year by the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2002. John Gizzi is also a credentialed correspondent at the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. He has questioned two IMF managing directors, Dominique Strauss-Kahn and Christine LaGarde, and has become friends with international correspondents worldwide. John???s email is JGizzi@EaglePub.Com

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