Ithaca area Congressman Tom Reed announced his support for leading Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on Wednesday evening.
“Now is the time to unite behind the candidate who I believe will be our nominee, Donald Trump,” a statement by Reed read. “We must move beyond the bombastic rhetoric to positive discussion about creating jobs and improving the lives of all Americans. We all care about improving people’s lives — that should always be our focus.”
Syracuse.com reported that Reed was coming under pressure by Republicans and Democrats to announce his endorsement ever since Jeb Bush, whom Reed initially backed, dropped out. According to Syracuse.com, Buffalo developer Carl Paladino, a big supporter of Trump, played an influential role in convincing Reed to endorse Trump, and is working to get Trump endorsements from New York’s other Republican congressmen.
“Between voting for John Boehner every year he ran for speaker and endorsing a faux conservative like Donald Trump, we have seen Tom Reed prove that he will endorse the worst people the GOP has to offer in order to preserve his grasp on power,” said Rocco Lucente, former chair of the Town of Ulysses GOP.
Reed is not the first New York congressman to endorse Trump. In February, Buffalo area Republican Congressman Chris Collins became the first sitting member of the House of Representatives to endorse Trump.
Reed’s endorsement of Trump potentially opens a new avenue of attack by his budding primary challenger, engineer and political activist Gary Perry. Perry seems to be positioning himself as a conservative alternative to Reed, saying of the incumbent, “He just doesn’t vote like a true conservative.”
Perry is also close to Paladino, having helped with his 2010 run for governor.