In a breaking development, sources reveal that Democratic U.S. Rep. Brian Higgins is set to resign from his congressional position to join Shea’s Performing Arts Center, a prominent local theater.
Capital Tonight has learned that Higgins, elected in 2004, has already inked a contract with the Performing Arts Center, and an official announcement is anticipated next weekend.
This news surfaces at a critical juncture, with the balance of power in the House of Representatives hanging on just five seats. The district, encompassing Buffalo and its suburbs, leans strongly Democratic, having favored Joe Biden by 27 points in 2020. With Higgins’ impending departure, potential candidates eyeing the open seat include notable figures like Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz, Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown, and state Sen. Tim Kennedy.
Brown, acknowledging Higgins’ congressional service, issued a statement on Friday, leaving the door open for his own political future. He remarked, “When the appropriate time comes, I look forward to a conversation about the future of this very diverse district so it can meet the needs of all of our residents.”
Notably, Governor Kathy Hochul holds the authority to announce a special election within 10 days of being notified of the vacancy. Subsequently, this election must take place within 80 days, shaping the political landscape in the region.