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COMMENTARY

Facts for Father's Day

Political points for pop to ponder:

• ‘Tis the season for fundraisers, when candidates work the phones, stage events, and fatten their campaign treasuries. That’s exactly what the pols are up to behind the scenes for this year’s contests, next year, and even for 2021.

Take declared Republican congressional hopeful Chris Jacobs. Supporters of the state senator and veteran of Erie County politics have slated a major fund-raiser for Friday at one of his family member’s estate in East Aurora.

Jacobs is viewed as a major player for the seat now held by Republican Chris Collins, who is under federal indictment for insider trading and may not run again in 2020. But Jacobs is viewed as especially formidable because of his ability to tap a huge supporter base as well as open his own wallet for the funds needed in a two-market district (Buffalo and Rochester) like NY-27.

A bevy of Republicans are watching developments from the sidelines, and a congressional primary a year from now looms as very much a possibility. But the Jacobs strategy for now is clear: raise money, gain momentum, and scare off the opposition.

The Jacobs move, meanwhile, conceivably opens his Senate slot to a newcomer. Assemblyman Sean Ryan, who in the past had contemplated running for the Senate seat now occupied by Jacobs, is emerging as the “anointed one.” Albany Democrats have slated a Tuesday affair for Ryan in Albany hosted by three of the Senate’s top Dems: Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Deputy Majority Leader Michael Gianaris, and Transportation Committee Chairman Tim Kennedy of Buffalo.

The message is clear. The Senate’s Democratic leadership wants Ryan aboard. Others are sure to join the fray, but Ryan looks to 2020 with many advantages.

And then there’s Mayor Byron Brown, who is already eyeing a fifth term in 2021 and does not shy away from the “strive for five” slogan that permeates City Hall.

Indeed, the mayor’s campaign is reminding his supporters of fund-raising events into December with invitations highlighting any numeral “5” in bold ‑ as in a June 24 cocktail party at 5 p.m. and a summer social on Aug. 5. And, oh yes, donation levels include $5,000, $2,555, $1,555 and $555. Get it?

We think he’s trying to tell us something.

• On the Republican side, new state Chairman Nick Langworthy remains a familiar sight on the Thruway as he makes the rounds after dethroning long time party head Ed Cox. All reports indicate a smooth transition enabled by Cox’s gracious exit from Albany headquarters and his new post with President Trump’s 2020 finance team. Indeed, Cox was spotted a few days ago at a Trump campaign staff meeting in Chicago.

The state party’s bylaws, meanwhile, do not allow for Langworthy to retain a county chairmanship such as his current post in Erie County. So now, sources say discussions are under way about how to handle that situation.

Bylaws, as every good parliamentarian knows, can be changed. And if the new chairman wishes to run both organizations (as did Nassau’s Joe Mondello several years ago), a way will probably be found.

But if Langworthy opts to concentrate on his statewide assignment, it is expected he will set up a state party office in his current digs at Erie County Republican Headquarters. The chairmanship situation is expected to be determined before Langworthy is officially installed by the state committee in Albany on July 1.

• Attorney Kevin Stocker is no stranger around Kenmore and the Town of Tonawanda as a Republican candidate for several offices, including the State Senate. But as reported previously in The Buffalo News, Stocker is now a Democrat.

And now he eyes the Assembly set held by Democrat Robin Schimminger since 1977. Stocker is already going door-to-door in preparation for a 2020 Democratic primary after losing to the incumbent as a Republican in 2010.

“I'll beat whomever they put up against me,” he said a few days ago. “Who is going to go door-to-door for a year? None of them.”

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