ITHACA, N.Y.—Former Congressional candidate Max Della Pia has been chosen by the Democratic Committee chairs of counties to run in the special election for New York’s 23rd Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The seat was vacated earlier this month after Republican Tom Reed announced his resignation to take a job with the Prime Policy Group. It is unclear who will run on the Republican side. Reed had already announced that he wouldn’t seek re-election after sexual harassment allegations were lodged against him last year, but cut his term short by several months. That triggered the need for a special election to fill the seat for the rest of the term.

While the state in general wallows in confusion over the redistricting process, Della Pia will be running to represent the current 23rd district, which Reed represented for the last several terms and includes Tompkins County. Della Pia, from Tioga County, previously lost a Democratic primary for the seat in 2018 to Tracy Mitrano, who was then defeated by Reed.

The news was first reported by WSKG’s Vaughn Golden. Though the deadline to set the special election was thought to be today, Governor Kathy Hochul has yet to announce the date the election will take place.

“It’s an honor to be endorsed by all of the County Chairs and to be entrusted with the opportunity to meet this unique challenge,” said Della Pia, a former Senate Liaison Officer for the Chief of Staff of the Air Force. “When I was growing up, my Dad always told me ‘Service is what gives life purpose.’ Both my parents were WWII Vets who taught me the American values of integrity, service above self, and caring for others. I feel obligated to do what I can to restore public confidence in our legislative branch. My wife and I moved our children 10 times during my 30+ years in the military but we sank our roots here in the Southern Tier. During my service I traveled to places where people can only dream of having the freedoms we sometimes take for granted. Free elections and peaceful transitions of power are non-negotiable.”

Matt Butler

Matt Butler is the Managing Editor at the Ithaca Voice. He can be reached by email at