Tim Kennedy. Photo by Nuala Purcell.

Kennedy Looking Like a Frontrunner

New York State Senator Tim Kennedy is running for Congress in New York's 26th district, where sitting congressman, Brian Higgins, has announced his retirement.

And according to the Buffalo News Kennedy, who is active on a range of Irish American issues and concerns, would appear to be in a strong position to secure his party's nomination, even in the face of potentially two rivals.
Kennedy, a South Buffalo Democrat, was the first to jump into the race when he told The Buffalo News in an exclusive interview that he was the best candidate to succeed Higgins, the daily reported.
“I believe the track record that I have is reflective on a local and state level of his track record in Washington because of how I emulate the way he operates,” Kennedy said.of Higgins, who he views as his mentor.

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Added the Buffalo News report: "In reality, though, Kennedy had essentially been running for the seat for months. Throughout the summer, he was spending big bucks on biographical materials to help his constituents learn more about him, even though he has been in state office since 2011.

"Last week, Geoff Kelly of Investigative Post quantified that in his story, writing, 'In the first six months of this year, Kennedy’s state Senate campaign committee doled out $426,000, mostly on consultants and political contributions. That’s $64,000 more than Kennedy spent in the same period in 2022, the last time he was up for reelection.'
"So Kennedy had clearly been ready to press the 'go' button when Higgins announced his intentions to step down. He also has a huge fundraising advantage. Ken Kruly’s politics blog noted this week that Kennedy has $2.1 million in his campaign kitty."

This is well ahead of Kennedy's reported rival candidates for the party green light, including Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown.

Kennedy, meanwhile, is due to attend Tuesday night's awards gathering in Manhattan organized by the Council for American Ireland Relations. The event is being held at Gossip Bar & Restaurant, 9th Avenue and 50th Street from 5.30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.