Orleans Republicans endorse Jacobs, Ortt and Hawley

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 15 February 2022 at 9:28 am

Mike Norris’s Assembly district shifts out of Orleans County

The Orleans County Republican Committee has endorsed, from left: Congressman Chris Jacobs, State Sen. Rob Ortt and Assemblyman Steve Hawley.

ALBION – The Orleans County Republican Committee has endorsed the incumbent congressman and incumbent state legislators for new terms.

The Republican Committee met last week and backed Chris Jacobs for Congress in a newly drawn 24th Congressional District. The boundaries have shifted east and go from 8 counties to 13.

Jacobs was first elected in a special election in July 2020 and then won a full term in November 2020.

Skip Draper, Orleans County Republican chairman, said Jacobs has connected with local officials and community leaders in Orleans County since Jacobs was elected to Congress.

Draper said he hasn’t heard from potential challengers to Jacobs, including on the eastern side of the newly drawn district.

“No one else called me from there,” Draper said. “Chris Jacobs has worked well with us. We’re in wonderful shape. There would be no reason to make a change.”

The local Republicans also backed Rob Ortt for another term as state senator. Ortt, a former mayor of North Tonawanda, is leader of the Republican conference in the State Senate. Despite those demands, he is frequently in Orleans County and is very responsive to local officials, Draper said.

“He has done nothing but serve us well,” Draper said about Ortt, who has been a state senator for just over seven years. “He is great to work with. He serves his district, particularly Orleans County, very well. He is out in Orleans County all the time.”

The Republicans also endorsed Steve Hawley for another two -year term. Hawley, a Batavia resident, has been in the Assembly for 16 years. With redistricting, his 139th district would include all of Orleans County, as well parts of Genesee, western Monroe and Akron in Erie County. The Town of Shelby is currently in a district represented by Mike Norris of Lockport. But redistricting takes Shelby out of Norris’s 144th district.

Hawley is the deputy minority leader of the Assembly. Draper said Orleans if fortunate to be represented by two Republican leaders in the Legislature with Ortt and Hawley.

“We’ve been working with Steve for several years,” Draper said. “He is a great representative.”

Draper also commended Norris for being a strong advocate for the county, even with only one town from Orleans in his district, which is mostly in Niagara and Erie counties.

“Mike Norris has served part of Orleans County well and we’re sorry to see Mike lose part of Orleans County,” Draper said.

The local Republican chairman said he expects a big year for Republicans with the elections in 2022. The state-wide races include the governor, U.S. Senate seat held by Charles Schumer, lieutenant governor and attorney general.

The Republicans in New York have a convention Feb. 28 through March 1 in Nassau County and will officially back their candidates.