Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 7, 2016

Ex-NRCC Chairman to Raise Money for Democrat in New York

Reynolds retired from Congress in 2008. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Three former GOP congressmen, including former National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Thomas M. Reynolds, will co-host a fundraiser for Democratic Rep. Brian Higgins next month, according to the Buffalo News.

The New York Republicans — Reynolds, plus former Reps. Jack F. Quinn and Amo Houghton — will co-host the Higgins fundraiser on Dec. 16 at the home of GOP fundraiser Anthony Gioia.

“The message I want to convey is Congressman Higgins has done a darn good job for Buffalo and Western New York, and it doesn’t matter whether he’s a Democrat or Republican, he’s a congressman and, in doing his job as a congressman, he’s done a fine job for our community,” Reynolds said in a Thursday morning phone interview.

As chairman of the NRCC, Reynolds sought to defeat Democrats and ensure that Republicans maintained control of the House. Reynolds led the GOP committee in 2004 and 2006. Democrats won the House majority for the first time in more than a decade in the 2006 cycle.

Reynolds retired from the House in 2008, after 10 years in that chamber.

He expressed frustration with the current gridlock in Congress.

“I believe that representatives also need to govern, and it’s important that while everyone in Congress is entitled to express their views, I still think the founders looked at the fact that there is an expectation that the government will find solutions to the challenges at hand,” Reynolds said of his support of a Democratic member.

First elected in 2004, Higgins represents a strong Democratic district. President Barack Obama carried the 26th District with 64 percent in 2012.

Higgins is currently running unopposed and had $455,000 in cash on hand as of the end of the third quarter. The Gioia-hosted fundraiser is expected to raise a six-figure haul for Higgins, according to the Buffalo News.

New York’s 26th District is rated a Safe Democrat contest by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.

Correction: 12:29 p.m.

An earlier version of this article misstated how long Reynolds served in the House. He retired in 2008, after serving for 10 years.

  • sue kelly

    Classic Reynolds who over saw the largest Northeast defeat of incumbent GOPers ever. Disgusting!

  • Oscar Y. Harward

    Here is an example of RINO Republicans who vote to legislate against Conservative Republicans. RINO Republicans are Moderate to Liberal in
    voting records who are funded by the Republican National Committee (RNC);
    however, these RINO Republicans receive (y)our RNC dollars, regardless of their political philosophy.

    We must instill in our RNC officials and our Capitol Hill Republicans that there is more to being a Republican than having an ‘R’ placed aside their name.

    Each Republican for reelection receiving RNC monies should be forced to show that 80% of their voting records are for the GOP leadership, on ‘split’ issues of
    Democrat v. Republican votes; not of the simple issues when almost all support
    an issue.

  • kernals

    it’s thinking like that that is costing you elections, New England for instance is now essentially under one party rule, they sent no republicans to congress last year, as much as I hate the current republican party I don’t want America to become a one party state where elections are basically decided in the democratic primaries

  • robertthomason

    New England is under one-party rule because they chose to be under the rule of Democrats. In my area (the south) we are under the rule of Republicans (pretty much). The ancestral party of my region long ago abandoned the south. Carter carried most of the south in 1976 as did Bill Clinton in the 90’s. Yet, today in my state there is no statewide Democrat party. There well may be no Democrats running for state wide office. In New England you have something similar, but it appears that while weak the Republicans still win elections. Any way, our country is changing its politics and the two parties are being remade to reflect these changes. I’m still amazed that JFK/Truman Democrats have disappeared from our political discourse. New England used to send a lot of those kind of Democrats to DC. Now it’s Democrats like Markey. Go figure.

  • robertthomason

    If we follow the money do we find out what he gets in return?

  • Phil


  • George Blumel

    Not surprising –“establishment” Repubs are very flexible when it is in their self-interest. The RNC, NRSC, NRCC and many state party leaders generally support the one they think will win rather than the one that represents the party principles. The problem is that they’re often wrong on who they think will win. In Florida our leadership mostly picked Crist over Rubio and McCollum over Scott, as a blatant example. It is best to follow recommendations of trusted groups like the Club for Growth and the voting records from Heritage Action. Or your own judgement of which candidate will best serve his constituents and more likely to keep his oath of office.

  • Bob

    Robert, they chose to be under Democratic rule because Democrats serve what is in their best interests. Also, not to be a grammar Nazi, but the correct term is Democratic party, not Democrat party. Nobody calls the Republican party the Republic party.

  • robertthomason

    There’s nothing wrong with my grammar. Nobody calls it the Republic Party because Republicans make up the membership of the Republican Party. Democrats make up the membership of their party. After all they are Democrats, not Democratics, if I use your logic. Bob Dole and many others have used this terminology (Democrat Party)for about 40 years or longer now. So yes, some people do use this terminology. It is sad though, that intelligent people think that the Democrats serve their best interests. How could top down command and control government with its wealth redistribution economic policies which are highly destructive to individual liberty be in their best interests? Bob, live long and prosper.

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