Less than 24 hours after the indictment of Rep. Chris Collins, R-N.Y., on charges of insider trading, Democrats were enthusiastically — and unexpectedly — reassessing their chances of picking up his House seat.
But Buffalo-area Republicans as well as the head of the New York State Conservative Party, which has the all-important Row C line on the state ballot, have rallied to the embattled lawmaker.
Having all but written off any chance against six-termer Collins, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee announced on Thursday that “with Collins’ arrest for corruption, unprecedented grass roots energy, and the strong candidacy of Nate McMurray, this seat is firmly in play for Democrats.”
Grand Island Town Supervisor McMurray, 43, told reporters “my phone has been melting” since the news of Collins’ indictment and unsolicited donations have already begun. Prior to the stunning news about Collins, McMurray had raised only $80,000 to the incumbent’s $1.9 million.
But where The New York Times, The Buffalo News, and other media outlets have reportedly extensively on the Democrats’ sudden opportunity in the 27th District, a related and important political development has barely been reported: how Republicans and New York’s Conservative Party are rallying to Collins.
Niagara County GOP Chairman Rich Anders told Newsmax he’s received calls from many town supervisors on the Lake Shore region along Lake Ontario in the district.
“Congressman Collins was very instrumental in getting help from the federal government with lake issues,” he said, explaining that those issues included flooding.
“These supervisors feel indebted to him,” Anders told us, “They love him and they all went frantic when they heard [the news of the indictment]. They appreciate what [Collins] has done for the county and the lakes.”
Anders and other Republicans also agree that, since the Empire State’s primary is over and deadlines have passed for Collins to relinquish nomination, the congressman will be their standard-bearer in November.
Even stronger in voicing support for Collins was Mike Long, state chairman of the New York Conservative Party.
“Congressman Collins situation is in the judicial system but he’s made it clear he’s staying the course and seeking re-election,” said Long, whose party has the third line on the New York State ballot and has given it to Collins, “He’s an excellent legislator and the most conservative Member of Congress in New York. And he’s tough. I say he’ll be re-elected.”
John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
Kimberly Burton, a junior at Temple University in Philadelphia, is a summer intern at the Washington, D.C., bureau of Newsmax.
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