What Republicans don't foresee happening is a split between their GOP nominee and whoever the Conservative Party candidate is, as happened in the 2009 special election in the 23rd District. Believing GOP nominee Dede Scozzafava to be too liberal, the Conservative Party chose Doug Hoffman to run on their line. Scozzafava withdrew just days before the election, but the damage was already done, and Democrat Bill Owens went on to win the election. "I expect we'll have cooperation with the Conservatives," said Langworthy. "I don't believe, knowing the candidates we have In front of us, that there's anyone they would balk at." Even though the district leans Republican, Democrats have signaled they're not conceding, and are also moving quickly to choose a candidate soon. Possible candidates include Erie County Clerk Kathy Hochul, former Erie County Commissioner Kathy Konst, Erie County Comptroller Mark Poloncarz and Amherst Town Board member Mark Manna. While Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel has downplayed Democratic chances in the district, the DCCC sent a staffer there this week to meet with local officials and potential candidates. Still, Israel told reporters this week that an "assessment" on the district would be made "in strict consultation and collaboration with the county chairs." Langworthy said "the Democratic party needs to have officials in Washington come up and tell them who their nominee is." Although Langworthy said he placed a "courtesy call" to National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Pete Sessions, their process will be "completely contained within the counties." "No one in Washington or Albany has a seat at the table," said Langworthy. "Our nominee will be strictly decided by the local leaders. We are very committed to that and we feel very strongly that there needs to be local control."
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