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Rep. Reed endorses Jeb Bush

WASHINGTON – Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush won a major upstate New York endorsement Tuesday, as Rep. Tom Reed offered his support to the onetime frontrunner who now trails developer Donald Trump in recent GOP polls.

“While many of the potential Republican nominees would make fine candidates, Gov. Jeb Bush’s experience successfully governing a diverse state makes him our best hope for taking back the White House,” Reed said in a statement released by the Bush campaign. “Gov. Bush has a track record of bringing people together to get results without compromising his conservative principles. I am pleased to support him for President of the United States.”

Reed, a third-term lawmaker who represents most of the Southern Tier, is the second current Republican House member from New York State to endorse Bush – or any Republican candidate.

Rep. Chris Collins, R-Clarence, earlier announced his support for Bush, and recently hosted a fundraiser for him.

“I believe Jeb Bush is exactly the type of president our nation needs to fix the failures of the last eight years,” Collins said. “His record of conservative accomplishments is unparalleled and that’s why I have been a strong supporter of his from the beginning. I was proud to host him in Buffalo, where we raised nearly $200,000 to help his campaign spread his positive message.”

The son and brother of former presidents, Jeb Bush is widely considered a favorite of the Republican Party establishment as he battles Trump and 14 other declared GOP candidates in what has been, so far, a topsy-turvy race.

The Republican race features two New Yorkers: Trump and former New York Gov. George Pataki. Neither has received any New York congressional endorsements yet, although former Rep. Jim Walsh of Syracuse is backing Ohio Gov. John Kasich and former Buffalo Bill Terrell Owens supports Trump.

Several Democratic House members from New York, including Rep. Brian Higgins of Buffalo and Rep. Louise M. Slaughter of Fairport, have endorsed former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in her bid for that party’s presidential nomination. New York’s two Democratic senators, Sen. Charles E. Schumer and Sen. Kirsten E. Gillibrand, are also backing Clinton, a former U.S. senator from New York.