Tags: 2020 Elections | chris collins | new york | 27th | congressional district | jack kemp | conservative

Rough Riding for Republicans in NY-27 Special Election

chris collins stands outside a courthouse
Rep. Chris Collins, R-N.Y. (Seth Wenig/AP)

Monday, 30 September 2019 07:09 PM Current | Bio | Archive

No sooner had Rep. Chris Collins, R-N.Y., resigned from Congress on Monday morning ahead of a certain guilty verdict to insider trading than the race to succeed him was on.

Eyes in both parties and the press were on Collins, the first Republican representative in the nation to endorse Donald Trump for president.

Last fall, as he was under indictment, onetime Erie County Executive Collins staved off defeat at the hands of Democrat Nate McMurray by 49.1% to 48.8%.

Now Grand Island Town Supervisor McMurray is considered a cinch for the Democratic nomination in a special election Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo is expected to call for January of next year or possibly in December.

The Empire State's eight-county 27th District has been in Republican hands for all but two years since 1970 (when it was taken for the GOP by former Buffalo Bills quarterback and future vice presidential nominee Jack Kemp).

But given Collins' two years-long legal turmoil and the tightness of the contest last year, Republicans almost universally concede they will have a race on their hands against McMurray in a special election.

No less than four Republicans are already laying the groundwork for a bid: State Sens. Chris Jacobs of Buffalo and Rob Ortt of Niagara; Erie County Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw; Williamston attorney and Fox TV legal contributor Beth Parlato. Also considering the race is State Assemblyman Stephen Hawley of Batavia.

"And I don't see any of them that the New York Conservative Party would have a problem supporting," State Conservative Chairman Gerard Kassar told Newsmax shortly after Collins' resignation.

In special election situations, Republicans almost always choose their nominees in which the county chairmen meet privately and cast weighted votes depending on the size of their county.

The Conservatives will decided with whom to give their "Row C" ballot line at a meeting of their state Executive Committee chaired by Kassar. With one exception since the 1980's, every Republican elected to Congress from New York has had the Conservative line (the exception was former Rep. Richard Hanna of Utica, who grew increasingly liberal during his tenure from 2010 to 2016).

The "insider" nature of the selection process in special election, several observers feel, works to the advantage of Parlato. As the lone woman in the race, she could be the beneficiary of local party chieftains heeding the hopes of National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Tom Emmer, R-Minn., and Republican National Chairman Ronna Romney to nominate more women for Congress.

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.

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With Rep. Chris Collins, R-N.Y., having now resigned from Congress ahead of a certain guilty verdict to insider trading, the race to succeed him was on in a N.Y.-27 special election, Newsmax's John Gizzi reports.
chris collins, new york, 27th, congressional district, jack kemp, conservative
Monday, 30 September 2019 07:09 PM
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