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Republican Congressman Is Quitting Over His Party's Complete Subservience To The NRA



Yesterday, still un-indicted underage sex trafficker Matt Gaetz (R-FL) announced that he supports Rep. Thomas Massie's proposal that voters be allowed to bring guns to the polls when they go to vote, something explicitly outlawed by a dozen states, including California, Georgia, Florida and Arizona.


A few hours later, before dawn today, the Capitol Police arrested some Michigan crackpot, Jerome Felipe from Flint, with a fake badge from the nonexistent "Department of Interpol," a BB gun, body armor, high capacity magazines and other ammunition, parked near the Capitol.


And then the big news: Chris Jacobs is a conservative New York politician from a super-wealthy Buffalo family. In 2006, Gov. George Pataki appointed him NY Secretary of State. He served as Erie County Clerk and in 2016 he flipped a state Assembly seat from blue to red, was reelected in 2018 and resigned to run for Congress when the corrupt incumbent, Republican Chris Collins, was arrested for insider trading. He's been a party-line GOP zombie, voting against the 2020 election results and against impeaching Trump, although he was one of the 35 Republicans who voted in favor of establishing a commission to investigate the attempted coup. Then, after the slaughters in Buffalo and Uvalde he announced, despite having been endorsed by the NRA, that he would vote to ban assault weapons. His political career collapsed and today he announced he is withdrawing from seeking reelection.


Late today, Nick Fandos and Jesse McKinley reported that Jacobs "stunned fellow Republicans by embracing a federal assault weapons ban and limits on high-capacity magazines. Speaking from his suburban Buffalo district a week ago, about 10 miles from the grocery store where 10 Black residents were slaughtered, Jacobs framed his risky break from bedrock Republican orthodoxy as bigger than politics: 'I can’t in good conscience sit back and say I didn’t try to do something,' he said. It took only seven days for political forces to catch up with him. On Friday, facing intense backlash from party leaders, a potential primary from the state party chairman and a forceful dressing down from Donald Trump Jr., Jacobs announced that he would abandon his re-election campaign."


The episode, which played out as President Biden pleaded with lawmakers in Washington to pass a raft of new laws to address gun violence, may be a portent for proponents of gun control, who had welcomed Mr. Jacobs’s evolution on the issue as a sign that the nation’s latest mass tragedies might break a decades-old logjam in Washington.
It also serves as a crisp encapsulation of just how little deviation on gun policy Republican Party officials and activists are willing to tolerate from their lawmakers, despite broad support for gun safety measures by Americans.
... [B]y Friday, after local gun rights groups had posted his office phone number on the internet and local party leaders had started pulling their support one by one, political analysts predicted he may well lose a primary challenge based solely on his embrace of firearm restrictions.
Party leaders and allies who have spoken with him in recent days said Jacobs clearly understood the political ramifications of his decision to support powerful gun control measures-- but he nonetheless refused to back away from it.
...Even before he made his decision on Friday, several Republicans were already lining up to run against Jacobs, angered at both his comments and the way in which he had surprised fellow members of his party, including some who had already endorsed him.
“We deserved the courtesy of a heads up,” said State Senator George Borrello, a second-term Republican from Irving, N.Y., south of Buffalo, who said he did not believe that Jacobs’s remarks were “an off-the-cuff emotional response,” but were planned in advance.
Borrello, who said on Friday that he was now considering running for the seat, added that Jacobs’s actions were particularly galling considering the congressman had “actively and aggressively” sought out the support of pro-gun groups like the NRA and the 1791 Society.
“And those people rightfully feel betrayed,” he said.
Other potential Republican challengers included Mike Sigler, a Tompkins County legislator, and Marc Cenedella, a conservative businessman.
The most formidable threat, though, came from Nicholas Langworthy, a longtime Erie County Republican leader who currently serves as the chairman of the state Republican Party.
Langworthy had been a supporter of Jacobs, helping him secure Trump’s endorsement, but he began circulating petitions to get on the ballot himself in recent days and told associates that he would consider challenging Jacobs.
Langworthy has yet to formally announce whether he will seek the seat, but his entrance into the race would likely clear the emerging primary field.

NY-27, his old district (R+21) between Buffalo and Rochester, was split into two new districts, NY-23 (R+23) and NY-24 (R+22), both safe for Republicans. He chose NY-23, which includes a lot of rabidly right Southern Tier territory that was formerly part of Tom Reed's district and where the voters don't know Jacobs. Now they'll never need to, although it would have been funny to see Jacobs, running on banning assault weapons, up against a Democrat, Max Della Pia, who isn't for banning them.

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