Chris Jacobs seems to have quickly learned the ropes in Washington. Unlike Brian Higgins and Tom Reed, our third Western New York House Representative claims he “pushed the wrong button” after learning there was backlash to his vote against emergency funding of the Post Office in the district. His “mistake” in first significant vote could be his congressional epitaph come November.
But why is he in Washington? The June 23 special election gave Jacobs about a 5% victory of Nate McMurray.
This race was unusual in the fact that the Conservative Party did not place Beth Parlato, the endorsed candidate in the fall election, on the ballot for the open seat. Seeing that the minor party runs candidates for any elected office, the chance for national recognition by winning the election with an independent representative with strong party values should have had party leaders salivating.
The special election was held on Primary day and Parlato was on the Republican primary ballot. On that count, she finished third in the race with a little over 20% of the vote in a three-way race. If she were on the special election ballot and had the same 20% share of the Republican vote, Jacobs loses the election by about 5% and the “mistake” never happens.
The Conservative Party gave Parlato the endorsement assuming she would win the Republican primary. After she lost, Parlato was reassigned to a judicial election in New York City, removing the possibility of a three-way race in the fall.