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NY-26: Lee Enters GOP Race For Reynolds' Seat

by on April 30, 2008

The Buffalo News reports:

Christopher J. Lee emerged Monday as the choice of Republican leaders to succeed Rep. Thomas M. Reynolds in Washington, but not without significant opposition.

And Jonathan P. Powers made it a clean sweep of endorsements on the Democratic side when Erie County Chairman Leonard R. Lenihan officially backed him, setting up what is expected to be a three-way primary.

But the night’s main story revolved around the GOP. Talking Phone Book President Rick Lewis scored support from the Republican chairmen of Erie and Niagara counties during their meeting in Geneseo, but even they sided with Lee in a second ballot to make it a unanimous decision.

“This ends the process,” Wyoming County Republican Chairman Gordon Brown said Monday night after the meeting. “Christopher J. Lee has the full support of all the chairmen. We found him just to be an outstanding candidate among a field of outstanding candidates. I think his business experience will translate well into serving in Congress.”

Now, the main question is whether Lewis will mount a rare Republican primary challenge to Lee. Lewis, 48 is expected to decide that question in the next few days, which could open the field to other GOP challengers, including author and Iraq War veteran David Bellavia.

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