The candidates in the feisty race in the 27th Congressional District cast their ballots at their respective polling places Tuesday morning.
Democratic incumbent Kathy Hochul got off to an early start. She voted with her husband, U.S. Attorney William Hochul, at Grace Lutheran Church on McKinley Parkway at Hamburg at 7:30 a.m.
Republican opponent Chris Collins and his wife Mary cast their ballots at the Clarence Fire Hall on Main Street at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday. Collins said he's very confident, but knows winning depends on turnout.
WBFO's Chris Caya was there as Collins spoke with voters and reporters.
"The people that support you that don't vote, don't count. So that's why we have a great turnout operation. 200,000 phone calls. We've identified our supporters and we are going to get them out," said Collins.
Both candidates will hold a final round of “get out the vote” appearances. The latest Siena/Buffalo News/WGRZ poll released over the weekend indicated the candidates are neck and neck.
Both Hochul and Collins are trying to secure votes in some of the rural areas of the newly realigned 27th district that could be key to securing a win.
Collins met with voters during the noon lunch hour dues at the Polka Dot Diner in Batavia.
Hochul appeared at her campaign headquarters on Wehrle Drive in Clarence. She appeared at 1 p.m. Tuesday afternoon on South Park Avenue in Hamburg to continue canvassing and working the phone banks.
WBFO'S Chirs Caya was there as Hochul told reporters people are astounded the race is so close in the state's most Republican district.
"50% of this is new to me. This is new territory. People didn't think in the early days that we even had a shot at this. So to be basically tied at this point. we are really going to astound everybody, so I really feel good about it," said Hochul.
Both candidates will appear with supporters Tuesday evening to watch and await results.
Collins will be joining the Erie County Republican Committee at the Avant building in downtown Buffalo inside the Embassy Suites for a GOP party.
Hochul is scheduled to appear with democratic supporters at Michael’s Banquet room in Hamburg for an election party. It is not certain if Hochul will appear at the Erie County Democratic Committee election event at the Ellicott Square Building in downtown Buffalo. Her campaign office did not confirm an appearance with the Democratic Party.
But there is speculation that final results may not be known in the tightly contested race. There are about 22,000 absentee and military ballots that need to be counted and some political watchers say those could be key to declaring a final winner in the race.