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Cuomo sets April 28 for special election for vacant CNY Senate, other seats

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ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday set an April 28 special election to fill the congressional seat left vacant by the resignation of Republican Chris Collins, who was sentenced last month to more than two years in prison for insider trading.

The date coincides with the state’s presidential primary. Voters also will fill four vacant seats in the state Legislature.

State Republican Chairman Nicholas Langworthy had sued the Democratic governor and State Board of Elections seeking an earlier date, arguing Cuomo was moving too slowly and leaving the 700,000 Republican-leaning residents of New York’s 27th Congressional District without representation.

Langworthy lashed out again Monday, saying in a statement that Cuomo was “stacking the deck to try and manipulate the outcome of these elections” by holding them on a day when Democratic voters would be flooding the polls for a hotly contested primary.

Cuomo has repeatedly said that holding the special election the same day as the presidential primary would save money.

Collins resigned Sept. 30. He pleaded guilty the next day to leaking confidential information about a pharmaceutical company’s clinical trials to his son and others. He was sentenced in January to two years and two months in federal prison.

Republican leaders in the western New York district have endorsed state Sen. Chris Jacobs for Collins’ seat. He will face Democrat Nate McMurray, who nearly unseated Collins in 2018 when he ran for a fourth term while under indictment.

Also to be decided are the Assembly seats left vacant by the resignations of Long Island Republican Andrew Raia, Queens Democrat Michele Titus and Monroe County Democrat Jamie Romeo, and the Senate seat vacated by Syracuse Republican Robert Antonacci.

Antonacci won the central NY seat in 2018 by 2 percentage points over Democrat John Mannion, for the seat held by longtime GOP Sen. John DeFrancisco. Antonacci resigned after being elected to a state judge position in November. Mannion said he plans to run again for the seat in April's special election. Republicans have designated central New York businesswoman Angela Renna as their candidate to run, but have not said if Renna plans to run in April's special election or if she will wait until the seat is up for grabs again in November.