Former President Bill Clinton's recent visit to Rochester may play a key role in two close Congressional races.
Buffalo News Political Reporter Bob McCarthy was on hand as the former President energized a Rochester audience last Friday in support of incumbent Representatives Kathy Hochul and Louise Slaughter
McCarthy sees Clinton's popularity in stark contrast with that of President Obama, especially in the 27th Congressional district where Democrat Hochul is trying to fend off Republican challenger Chris Collins.
The candidates in the 27th Congressional District, Rep. Kathy Hochul (D) and former Erie County Executive Chris Collins (R), met for their first debate Tuesday evening at the WNED studios in downtown Buffalo.
Hochul and Collins sparred in a 50-minute debate moderated by WBFO News Director Jim Ranney. The candidates took questions from three area journalists: Bob McCarthy of The Buffalo News, Claudine Ewing of WGRZ-TV and Julie Phillip of WXXI in Rochester, as well as e-mailers.
A veteran of many panels at area political debates, Buffalo News Political Reporter Bob McCarthy believes Tuesday night's debate between Kathy Hochul and Chris Collins was one of the best he has witnessed.
McCarthy was among the panelists at the studios of WNED-TV who posed questions to the candidates in the race for the 27th Congressional district.
As McCarthy sees it, both candidates were very clear in their positions and avoided many of the platitudes that bring little value to political discussions.
Lancaster Town Supervisor Dino Fudoli has proven to be quite a controversial leader since assuming office on January 1st. He's a proponent of limiting the financial incentives granted by the region's various industrial development agencies. Fudoli then targeted town employee unions for criticism by describing public employees as being the "unproductive" segment of the economy. Finally, he admitted late last month that he has not paid property taxes on various properties he owns.
Former Erie County Executive Chris Collins has clearly glided past former Iraq War veteran David Bellavia in the Republican primary for the 27th Congressional District.
In Erie County with 94% of the votes counted, Collins held a major lead with 74% to Bellavai's 26% of the vote.
After losing a hard-fought race for a second term as Erie County executive, Collins earned vindication Tuesday night in the race for the GOP nod against Democratic Congresswoman Kathy Hochul in what is a heavily-Republican district.