Collins talking like a candidate, but 'in no hurry' to decide another NY-27 run

Jul 31, 2019

Buffalo's Republican State Sen. Chris Jacobs announced in May. Williamsville attorney Beth Parlato announced Monday. However, the primary for NY-27 is nearly a year away, so incumbent Chris Collins said Tuesday he is "in no hurry" to decide on another run.

Even so, Collins was talkative with reporters about his decision during an event on Grand Island.

"The message to my supporters and to others who may want to oppose me is simple: my campaign will be properly funded," Collins said. "Some people are presuming, for some reason, I have no interest in running or, from a fundraising standpoint, I may not have the funds to compete. I'm just squashing that thought once and for all."

Collins recently loaned his campaign $500,000, but he said that was not unusual, as his past campaigns for Erie County Executive and Congress used millions of his own money. In fact, the Clarence Republican added that he only started fundraising last month.

Collins said he is "seriously considering" another run, but will not make a final decision for another few months. That decision, he said, will be made with his family.

Rep. Chris Collins (l) speaking with reporters Tuesday on Grand Island.
Credit Kyle S.Mackie / WBFO News

The first congressional representative to throw his support behind Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential election, Collins was not shy about name dropping Tuesday.

"If I decide I am gonna run, I'm gonna run hard. Whether it's my funds or other, we will be properly funded to get our message out," he said. "My message is simple: I am and have been for the last three-and-a-half years the number one Trump supporter. I announced my support in February of '16 and in the two-and-a-half years since he's been elected, I do have the number one voting record of any member of Congress in support of Trump's agenda."

Collins admitted that fundraising has been difficult since he was indicted on federal insider trading charges, but he maintained his innocence in what he described as prosecutors' "circumstantial case" and reminded reporters that he has not been convicted of anything.

He had plenty to say about Jacobs as a possible opponent for the Republican nomination.

"My effectiveness is probably stronger today than any other local member of Congress because the administration is still a phone call away and, you know, my comment about Chris Jacobs is, at best he's a Democrat wearing a Republican sportcoat. My calculus would be that he jumped in with a lot of family money and trying to scare everyone out."

As for Parlato, Collins said she is "very conservative."