Gia M. Arnold is reigniting her Republican primary run for the State Senate just a week after she suspended her campaign while confessing to an extramarital affair.
The 24-year-old from Holley in Orleans County announced in a news release Friday that she is reconsidering her withdrawal from the campaign for the 62nd District seat, following an outpouring of public support she had received in the wake of her public confession.
“To say that I am overwhelmed by the outpouring of support and well wishes would be an understatement,” Arnold said.
“When I made my announcement last week, I never fathomed the hundreds of texts, calls and emails that I received, almost all of which called for me to stay in this race and fight for truth, honesty and what is right for our Senate district. For me, telling the truth and being honest with my supporters and the citizens is the most important aspect of running for and representing the people, even if it means losing some support and not helping myself,” she added.
Arnold’s turnaround brought another bizarre twist to the already unusual race for the Senate district, which covers all of Niagara and Orleans counties, as well as two towns in Monroe County.
The seat is currently held by 19-year incumbent George D. Maziarz, R-Newfane, who had filed nominating petitions but then suddenly dropped out of the race last month.
North Tonawanda Mayor Robert G. Ortt, whom the Republican committee endorsed as a replacement candidate for Maziarz, declined to weigh in on Arnold’s latest about-face Friday, preferring instead to keep the focus on his own campaign.
“Since day one, this campaign has been about one thing, sending someone to Albany who can best represent the values of the people of the 62nd Senate District,” Ortt said in an email message Friday.
“My focus remains on meeting as many residents of the district as I can, and asking for their support on Nov. 4,” he added.
Niagara County Republican Committee Chairman Scott P. Kiedrowski did not return a phone call seeking his reaction.
Prior to dropping out and then re-entering the race, Arnold’s campaign emphasized her dedication to lowering taxes, gun ownership rights and her opposition to the state’s SAFE Act.
Whether or not she had decided to continue her campaign, Arnold’s name would have remained on the ballot in the Sept. 9 primary.
The winner of the GOP primary will square off against the Democratic nominee, Niagara Falls Board of Education member Johnny G. Destino, an attorney who switched parties after losing the GOP primary to Maziarz in 2012.