27th Congressional District

Buffalo News

A special election has yet to be called for Western New York's 27th Congressional District, but a heavy supply of political money is finding its way into the coffers of the declared candidates. While the district only recently lost its representation with the resignation of Chris Collins, Buffalo News Political Reporter Bob McCarthy says campaign treasuries are on the rise for the declared candidates.

WBFO News File Photo

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday that Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul could win the congressional seat Chris Collins resigned on Monday. Hochul said she agrees—but she’s still not going to run.


"McMurray for U.S. Congress" website

Grand Island's Nate McMurray is positioning himself for another possible run for Congress.

Parlato Law

Family law attorney and former judge Beth Parlato has announced her candidacy for the Republican nomination in New York's 27th Congressional District.

GrandIslandNY.US

For Nate McMurray, the Democratic challenger in the 27th Congressional District, the race is not over yet. He told WBFO this morning he will pursue a recount of votes in Tuesday's election which saw incumbent Chris Collins win by a few thousand votes and he will ask national Democratic Party officials for help in that cause. Beyond that issue, McMurray reflected on his long shot campaign in the most heavily Republican District in New York. Despite the results, he called the election "the greatest honor of my life."


WBFO News file photo

For Bob McCarthy, the veteran political reporter for the Buffalo News, Chris Collins' narrow reelection in the 27th Congressional District is one of the memorable sories of the 2018 election. However, he believes the most important development may be the Democratic Party regaining control of the state Senate. As McCarthy points out, with only one Democratic Senator in the region--Buffalo's Tim Kennedy--Upstate's clout in state government may continue to dwindle. 

Election Day in New York's 27th Congressional District should have been a day of celebration for Republican Party officials. With the largest Republican Party enrollment of any district in the state, incumbent Chris Collins was expected to cruise to reelection. That course changed dramatically when legal troubles emerged for Collins. With polls indicating a close race, WBFO went to the district's heart, Batavia, to talk with voters.

Through a series of redistricting efforts, what is now called New York's 27th Congressional District has changed considerably through the years. Remaining at its core are the so-called GLOW counties--Genesee, Livingston, Orleans and Wyoming. Representing the district for nearly 20 years in Congress was a native son, Barber Conable. Now, with a spotlight on the legal troubles of the district's current Congressman Chris Collins, Conable's esteemed career merits reflection.


Congressman Chris Collins has kept a low profile since he was indicted on charges of insider trading. While silence may be a preferred legal strategy, it's not the standard approach for a congressman seeking reelection. Buffalo News Political Reporter Bob McCarthy was able to make contact last week and sought answers on a number of issues.  Collins said he decided to stay in the race because he didn't believe he could get his name off the ballot, but McCarthy says Republican Party officials are refuting that claim.


A new poll showing a close race between challenger Nate McMurray and incumbent Chris Collins is adding to the intrigue in the 27th Congressional District. Buffalo News Political Reporter Bob McCarthy believes the poll will prompt national Democrats to infuse new funding into McMurray's upstart campaign. Meanwhile, few of Collins' political allies are standing up for the troubled incumbent. McCarthy points out how most of the big names, notably President Donald Trump, are remaining quiet, at least for the time being.

File Photo / WBFO News

A new poll gives Republican incumbent Rep. Chris Collins a slim lead over his Democratic challenger Nate McMurray in the 27th Congressional District.

The political coattails of Donald Trump should be enough for a Republican candidate to cruise to victory in the 27th Congressional District where the majority of voters enthusiastically support the President. For Congressman Chris Collins that path turned complicated upon his indictment on insider trading charges. Buffalo News Political Reporter Bob McCarthy says it's too soon to predict an upset, but he believes Collins faces many hurdles in getting the district's Republican majority out to vote in November. 


Three months ago, Chris Collins was expected to cruise to reelection in November. That was before the congressman was indicted on insider trading charges and announced he was suspending his campaign. Collins, of course, reversed that decision, stating that he would "actively" campaign in the 27th district. As Buffalo News Political Reporter Bob McCarthy points out, that activity has featured some limited public appearances and  heavy spending on political advertising, including one commercial which has raised the ire of ethnic groups and Democratic challenger Nate McMurray.


Rep. Chris Collins (R-Clarence) says his last day in office will be Dec. 31, as charges of insider trading against him have essentially ended his political career and reputation. He says what he does next will not be politics.

WBFO file photo

State Senator Michael Ranzenhofer announced Monday he is no longer in the running to replace Chris Collins in the 27th Congressional District.

Mike Desmond/WBFO

Republican county chairs from across the 27th Congressional District say they have three weeks to decide who they want to replace Congressman Chris Collins on the November ballot.  They spent much of Tuesday huddled at Batavia Downs discussing the issue and hearing from nine potential candidates.


McMurray for Congress / WBFO News

Congressman Chris Collins has suspended his re-election efforts after he was indicted on insider trading charges last week.

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

She was defeated six years ago by the man now holding her former seat in the House of Representatives. Earlier this year, Governor Andrew Cuomo suggested she'd be an ideal candidate to challenge Chris Collins this November. But Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, during an appearance in Buffalo, says she's better serving people in her current role.

NateMcMurray.com

Democratic leaders are endorsing Grand Island Supervisor Nate McMurray to challenge incumbent Chris Collins this November.

The race for the 27th Congressional District continues to draw attention by both major parties.

Empire State Development Corporation

Democrat Erin Cole does not consider herself a political person, but has been on a career track to run for political office for quite some time. The 46-year-old said the timing is now right for a run, and she intends to take on Clarence Republican Chris Collins.

Chris Collins sworn in to 113th Congress

Jan 3, 2013
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Republican Chris Collins was sworn in Thursday as one of the newest members of  the U.S. House of Representatives. Collins is among 82 freshman representatives in the House.

McCarthy discusses Clinton's role in regional races

Oct 24, 2012

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.

WBFO News photo by Eileen Koteras Elibol l WNED Art Director l Photographer

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.

Hochul takes fundraising lead

Oct 17, 2012
WBFO News file photo

While the polls show a deadlocked race in the 27th Congressional district, campaign finance reports show Democrat Kathy Hochul surging ahead in the always important money race.

The Buffalo News reports Hochul raised $717,000 in the months of July, August and September, compared to the $321,000 raised by Collins, though the Republican added another $400,000 from his own personal fortune.

The records do not reflect any funds gathered during the October visit from House Speaker John Boehner on behalf of the Collins' campaign.

In his weekly Morning Edition conversation with WBFO News, Buffalo News Political Reporter Bob McCarthy said nearly $2 million in outside money has flooded into the district and onto the airwaves in the form of political ads.

"Some of these groups are not obliged to report their contributors," McCarthy said. "It opens up a whole new world for money in politics."

While many outside observers are crying foul over the emerging practice, insiders feel otherwise.

"As far as those people (political campaigns) are concerned, it's good."

WBFO File Photo

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. 

WBFO News photos

The race for the 27th Congressional District is a dead heat, that according to a recent poll conducted by the Buffalo News, WGRZ and Sienna College.

The poll found a mere 2% edge for Republican Chris Collins over incumbent Democrat Kathy Hochul. The margin of error for the poll is near 4%.  7% of those queried remain undecided.

WBFO News photo

Tax returns took center stage this week in the heated battle for the 27th Congressional district.

Earlier this week, Democratic Representative Kathy Hochul offered the public a look at the her salary and that of her husnand, U.S. Attorney William Hochul.

The figures produced fodder for her Republican foe, Chris Collins, who said the Hochuls have become millionaire's on the backs of taxpayers.

"She's not really this middle class person she pretends to be," said Collins.

Congresswoman Hochul refuted the attacks.

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