For millions of Americans, there is nothing so enjoyable on the political spectrum as seeing an incumbent squirm. Every ten years, the US Census triggers congressional redistricting that can threaten a cozy officeholder’s secure stall at the federal trough. This year, Empire State redistricting turned against GOP establishment Rep. Chris Jacobs (R-NY), who, to his discomfort, discovered his district would be becoming more rural.
Jacobs currently represents the 27th congressional district in New York. But due to redistricting, he had been poised to run in the newly created 24th. Here’s how The Buffalo News described his strategy in January:
“Rep. Chris Jacobs, an Orchard Park Republican, said he plans to run for re-election in the newly drawn 24th district, a heavily Republican enclave that would meander from the northernmost shores of the Niagara River to the Thousand Islands region – a driving distance of 256 miles – while bypassing most of metro Rochester. Jacobs, who moved to Orchard Park two years ago to run in a district vacated by former Rep. Chris Collins, would have to move again to run in the 24th district because Orchard Park is in the district to the south.”
But Jacobs was soon on the move again. When the dust had settled, the 24th district did not include Erie County, which Jacobs regards as his political base. This prompted him and fellow incumbent, Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-NY), to perform a switch, with Tenney abandoning her plans to run in the 23rd district and Jacobs foregoing the 24th for the 23rd.
“I look forward to getting to know new communities throughout the Southern Tier, and I am committed to being out and about in each and every community, continuing my track record of working effectively with localities,” Jacobs said May 21.
That sure is a lot of moving around. But less than two weeks later, Chris Jacobs suddenly wasn’t running at all.
From RINO to Sacrificial Lamb
On June 3, Jacobs pulled out of the race entirely, decrying the fact that his support for an assault weapons ban in the wake of the May 14 Buffalo supermarket shooting would be used against him in a GOP primary.
“If an assault weapons ban bill came to the floor that would ban something like an AR-15, I would vote for it,” Jacobs declared on May 27, ABC-7 TV in Buffalo reports, adding that “no constitutional right is unlimited.”
Jacobs portrayed himself as the victim of right-wing intransigency that made his candidacy for a Republican seat untenable. “We have a problem in our country in terms of both our major parties, if you stray from a party position you are annihilated,” he stated. “For the Republicans, it became pretty apparent to me over the last week that that issue is gun control — any gun control.”
The congressman who couldn’t find a safe district decided to play the martyr card. Jacobs was promptly rewarded by a big-box media that always loves to play up a loaded “Republican with a conscience” angle. Jacobs was granted a star turn on CNN’s State of the Union Sunday program and lionized by MSNBC and The New York Times, among others.
Left largely unreported, however, is the fact that Jacobs was always going to have a tough time with GOP voters, no matter which district his revolving home address landed in.
Here is a brief look at the DC resume that made Jacobs vulnerable long before his gun control posturing:
- Jacobs was among only 35 House Republicans to vote in favor of creating the Jan. 6 special committee. His name stands alongside notorious RINO Reps. Liz Cheney (R-WY) and Adam Kinzinger (R-IL).
- Jacobs voted to strip fiery GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) from her committee assignments, thus embracing the establishment narrative of “far-right extremism” in Republican ranks and enraging America First supporters who see Greene as an outsider force in Congress.
- Jacobs was an original co-sponsor of the “Fairness For All Act,” an alternative to the failed radical leftist Equality Act that, as Jon Schweppe of the American Principles Project detailed, would “[e]nact a nationwide mandate that schools allow boys in girls’ private spaces,” “[d]estroy women’s sports,” “[p]romote chemical castration for gender-confused children,” and “[a]llow men in women’s prisons.”
Jacobs quietly removed himself as a sponsor in February as the 2022 election season neared.
“This requirement of 100 percent fealty or else is not good for our democracy, and certainly is one reason not much gets done in Washington, D.C.,” Jacobs mournfully warbled of his decision to bow out. “I knew that there was going to be a high level of backlash, but look, if you’re not going to take a stand on this I don’t know what you’re going to take a stand on.”
Chris Jacobs’ stands seem to be in stark opposition to the beliefs of the majority of Republican voters. Failing to find the proper electoral terrain to guarantee re-election, it would appear a vulnerable establishment party man chose the “GOP Media Darling for a Day” route instead.
All opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Liberty Nation.
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