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Is Scott Norwood Not Available?

With the retirement of New York Representative (and part-architect of the NRCC accounting debacle) Tom Reynolds, Republicans are looking for a candidate to hold onto Reynolds's 26th congressional district just east of Buffalo. Their top choice, state Sen. George Maziarz, has opted not to run, leaving the field wide open. One potential candidate appears to be former Buffalo Bills quarterback Jim Kelly, whom state party leaders have tried unsuccessfully to recruit for lower-profile offices in the past. Kelly has voiced interest in running for Congress, and would start the race with name recognition far higher than any of his rivals.

The district leans Republican (with a Cook Partisan Voting Index of R+3, meaning in presidential elections it's about three points more Republican than the nation as a whole), but given the shambles in which both the NRCC and New York GOP find themselves, it's going to take a clutch, mistake-free performance for the Republican candidate to pull this one out.

--Josh Patashnik