Election Day 2017 has just finished, but Election Day 2018 is already heating up. Another candidate has announced for the Democratic nomination to run against Congressman Chris Collins.
Collins' 27th Congressional District is thought safe for the incumbent, based upon party affiliation and his original victory over Democrat and now Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul. With next year an off-year congressional election, that is often seen as a referendum on a President - and few members of Congress are as close to President Donald Trump as Collins.
With that challenge ahead, Tom Casey has joined the candidate list. With his announcement Tuesday, the retired engineer joins lawyer Sean Bunny and businessman Nicholas Stankevich for the Democratic nod.
At a news conference on the steps of Lancaster Town Hall, the East Aurora resident says he has worked on projects across the district and says he is running against both Collins and his close partner, President Trump.
"I'm running for the people, who I really think are getting the short end of the stick," Casey says. "The positions that our present congressman and our present president are taking, I think are just the opposite of what's for the everyday people. So I am running in clear distinction to them."
Casey says the present administration is eroding the moral center of the country, going back to George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. In particular is his opposition to the tax bill currently being prepared in Congress.
"The tax bill to me is very disappointing, in that it's going to continue an escalation of the concentration of wealth" Casey says. "That's what's underneath it all and, if you read our founders - George Washington, Jefferson - inequality in wealth and concentrations of wealth, that undermines and destroys democracy and that's what this tax bill will do."
He believes there are Republicans with his same points of view.
"While I'm a Democrat, there are Republicans who have strongly, strongly supported me on the issues," he says. "Because if there's a moral center out there, there's a lot of people, obviously not everyone, who will vote for a person who they think is committed to them, is willing to tell them the truth and do what's best for the people."
Casey admits it will be tough to raise money against an incumbent, but says he wants to make maximum use of volunteers, seeking 500 by February 1.