27th Congressional District

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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.

WBFO News by Mike Desmond

 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.

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The race for the Republican nod in the 27th Congressional District election is heating up, and the challengers are ponying up their own money.

David Bellavia has loaned $45,000 to his campaign, while Chris Collins, with deeper pockets, has loaned his effort $250,000.

The primary election looms on June 26th, and Collins suggests that the real fund raising will begin after the winner of that vote is announced.

GOP split over candidates in 27th primary race

May 9, 2012
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Chris Collins's congressional campaign is picking up endorsements as Republicans take sides in the approaching GOP primary in the 27th District.

Erie County Legislature Minority Leader Jack Mills and Niagara County Legislature Chairman William Ross are backing Collins. Both will serve as campaign chairs in their  respective counties.

Collins' opponent David Bellavia has earned several endorsements from notable officials, including State Senator George Maziarz and Genesee County Assemblyman Steve Hawley.

The New York State Conservative Party has given its endorsement to former Erie County Executive Chris Collins, in his run for the Congressional seat currently held by Democrat Kathy Hochul.

Collins and Iraqi war veteran David Bellavia had also been soliciting the Conservative party support. Both candidates are on the state primary ballot for the Republican endorsement.

Party leaders met in Brooklyn Thursday.  Party chairman Michael Long said Collins earned the endorsement by a "very high majority."

Maziarz endorses Bellavia over Collins

Apr 3, 2012
WBFO News photo by Mark Leitner

Political lines are being drawn as the Republican candidates battle for their party's nomination in New York's 27th Congressional district.

State Senator George Maziarz is endorsing Iraq War veteran David Bellavia, bypassing the better-financed candidacy of former Erie County Executive Chris Collins.

The move follows the endorsement of the Orleans County Republican Party, which is also backing Bellavia.

The Buffalo News is reporting that three-time Congressional candidate Jack Davis is providing financial support to Bellavia's campaign.

WBFO News photo by Mark Leitner

With a June primary ahead, Republicans David Bellavia and Chris Collins are getting active and taking shots at each other.

On Tuesday, Bellavia, the decorated Iraq War veteran, challenged Colins to a series of eight debates, one for each county in the sprawling 27th district.

Bellavaia says it's the best way to explore the many issues of importance to district constituents.

Collins called the debate idea "premature." 

The former Erie County Executive dismissed Bellavia as a "candidate whose campaign is floundering."

WBFO News file photo

Republican former Erie County Executive Chris Collins has officially thrown his hat into the ring for the 27th Congressional District race.

Collins made the announcement on Saturday in an interview with the Buffalo News. Should Collins survive a June primary against fellow Republican David Bellavia, he would face incumbent Democrat Kathy Hochul in November.

Collins suffered a stinging defeat in his re-election bid for County Executive to Mark Poloncarz. In a special election, Hochul upset Jane Corwin, a Republican candidate, who was heavily supported by Collins.