However, the once reliably Republican territory in western New York has tilted more Democratic in recent years. Democrats picked up a seat vacated by retiring Rep. Jack Quinn (R) in 2004, and in 2006 they made inroads to the east by picking up the 20th and 24th districts.
Few new Democratic names surfaced in the wake of Reynolds’ announcement.
The party’s top contender is Jon Powers, an Iraq War veteran and teacher with an inspiring life story. Powers has the backing of five of the seven Democratic committees in the district as well as some institutional support from national Democratic-leaning interest groups.
Wealthy factory owner Jack Davis, the Democratic nominee against Reynolds in 2004 and 2006, appears poised to enter the race but has not said definitively that he will run. He said recently that if he does, he plans to put $3 million of his own money into the race.
Attorney Alice Kryzan also is seeking the Democratic nomination.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.