NYS Republican Chairman Nick Langworthy brought his anti-impeachment tour to Newburgh Thursday, holding a rally outside the office of Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney. An enthusiastic supporter of President Trump, Langworthy launched a series of pro-Trump rallies around the state in a Staten Island appearance Monday, with a focus on appearing in congressional districts that Republicans believe they have a reasonable prospect of taking in 2020.
Langworthy was joined by Chele Farley, a Republican candidate to run against Rep. Maloney next year, and 15-20 supporters. A nearly equal number of counter-protesters, including the mayor of Newburgh and a member of the Orange County legislature, appeared with signs and shouting over Langworthy and Farley’s remarks.
There was significant friction between the two groups, with plenty of shouting and taunting as they faced off, but no physical conflict or violence.
The congressionally-focused tour makes some sense for Langworthy. His party faces continued bleak electoral prospects*, with the pickup of one of more congressional seats next year as the most likely avenue for a positive Republican outcome. Those chances may decline significantly as Trump’s troubles deepen daily, with the prospect of voters punishing the Republican elected officials who have largely stood by him, but it’s still the most reasonably likely avenue for Langworthy to advance the Republican Party’s position in New York. Langworthy’s tour also has the potential to nurture a significant facet of his chairmanship, his relationship with President Trump.
In brief post-rally comments Langworthy brushed off any concerns about President Trump’s deepening troubles. Asked about the separate topic of whether the state party will take any positions or action on the five referendum questions on the ballot in New York City Langworthy said that the state party will not act or endorse any position and instead will defer to the five county chairs in New York City.
* NYS Republicans have not elected a statewide candidate in 13 years and have not elected a Republican to a first term in statewide office in 27 years. (It’s also the case that no statewide offices are open in 2020, with governor/LG/AG/comptroller and Sen. Chuck Schumer’s seats up in 2022.) After hanging on for years the Republicans lost the state senate last year and the Assembly has been overwhelmingly Democratic for decades. New York’s 27 House seats include five Republicans, down one in the wake of Republican Chris Collins recent resignation as he pleaded guilty to federal insider trading related crimes. In 2018 Democrats won several House seats that had been held by Republicans. Langworthy and the GOP are seeking to recapture those. (Although Maloney was elected by defeating a Republican incumbent, it was in 2012.)