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Tom Reed resigns, setting up a second special House election in New York

ALBANY, N.Y. — New York Rep. Tom Reed announced his immediate retirement from Congress on Tuesday, seven months before his final term was due to conclude.

The resignation means that New York will soon have two special elections on the ballot for congressional districts that are currently being redrawn.

“After almost 12 years in Congress, today is my last day,” Reed, a Republican, announced on the House floor.

As recently as March 2021, Reed has been a frontrunner for the GOP nomination in the 2022 gubernatorial race. But after he faced allegations of sexual misconduct, he announced he would soon end his political career.

Punchbowl News reported that Reed is joining lobbying firm Prime Policy Group.

Reed’s resignation come a week after Rep. Antonio Delgado announced plans to resign to become Gov. Kathy Hochul’s lieutenant governor.

Under a law that was enacted in 2021, governors are now obligated to call special elections whenever a member of congress leaves office before July 1 in an election year. They have 10 days to issue a proclamation calling a contest to be held 70 to 80 days later.

If Hochul receives formal notification of Reed’s departure on Wednesday, that would place the date for a special for his seat somewhere between July 20 and Aug. 8. New York is currently slated to hold some of its primaries on June 28, and others – including those for 26 the yet-to-redrawn congressional seats — on Aug. 23.

Delgado has not yet announced a date of departure, but it is expected to happen “by the end of the month,” Hochul’s office said.

If that date happens to be on May 25 or later, then the special for his seat could be held to coincide with the August primary.

Both Delgado’s Hudson Valley district and Reed’s Southern Tier seat face uncertain futures as new maps are being drawn in Steuben County (which, coincidentally, is part of Reed’s district).

After much of GOP Rep. Claudia Tenney’s district was merged with Delgado’s in lines drawn by Democrats earlier this year, she announced plans to run in the seat being vacated by Reed. But there’s still a chance that Tenney’s seat could survive the process that started after the courts tossed the Democratic lines.

In his brief speech on the House floor, Reed warned of “extremism” in the country’s politics.

“It is time for petty political posturing to end,” he said.