Cuomo Calls Special Election for WNY Congressional Seat Vacated by Rep. Chris Collins
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Gov. Andrew Cuomo
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An election to fill the seat of former Rep. Chris Collins, a Republican from western New York who resigned from office after pleading guilty to insider trading charges, will be held on April 28 — the same day as the presidential primary in New York.

Republicans have been critical of the election date, which was formally set Monday through a declaration signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

The election is expected to bring more Democrats to the polls than Republicans in New York since there’s a contested presidential primary for the former party, but not the latter. President Donald Trump is not facing any serious challengers for the ticket.

Democrats have rallied behind Nate McMurray as their nominee for the seat. McMurray, currently the town supervisor of Grand Island, unsuccessfully challenged Collins for the district in 2018.

State Sen. Chris Jacobs, R-Erie, is the Republican nominee for the post. He said in an interview with New York NOW last month that if he lost the special election in April, he would still go on to run for the seat in the general election later this year.

But the best-case scenario, he said, would be for Republicans to hold on to the seat so the national party doesn’t have to focus on winning it back in November.

“I wouldn’t want to have the national party come bail us out when they should be spending their resources picking up seats so we can get the majority back so the president never has to go through the nonsense he’s going through now,” Jacobs said.

The district, which includes areas immediately outside Buffalo, is considered one of the most conservative in the state. Collins was the first Republican in Congress to endorse Trump for president in 2016, and his base rallied around him as a result.

Despite that, Collins only won the district over McMurray by about 1,100 votes. That’s compared to approximately 280,000 votes cast in the contest.