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N.Y. Republicans rush to challenge indicted incumbent Collins in deep red district

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27th district
Western New York

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Election Day 2018
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Should Mr. Collins decide to run he has said over and over that his campaign will have the necessary funds to share its message with voters.” Some have suggested he’ll use the campaign build-up as a negotiating chip with prosecutors, an accusation he recently refuted in a rare press event.Regardless, a prevailing opinion among some state party leaders and other candidates is that Collins will drop out by the end of the year, creating a wide open spot for a surefire Republican victory.“I personally don’t ultimately think he’ll be a candidate for reelection, and there’s a variety of very qualified candidates, and some still waiting in the wings to get into the race,” said state GOP Chairman Nick Langworthy.The two other declared candidates are attorney and former judge Beth Parlato, a Fox News contributor, and state Sen. Rob Ortt (R-North Tonawanda).“I don’t have anything negative to say about him except that it’s a very negative situation that he’s in,” Parlato said of Collins. And that’s exactly what McMurray, the Democrat who nearly took Collins in 2018, is hoping for in round two, he said.McMurray, a town supervisor who announced in August that he’ll run again, doesn’t buy the concept that the close margin in 2018 was an outlier due to the year’s Democratic wave election and the fresh nature of Collins’ charges.He said he believes there are moderate Republicans in the district who have grown weary of both Trump and Collins, but that the current challengers look “fake” and “opportunistic” because they’re taking advantage of Collins’ precarious position.“Every single person in this district knows who I am now,” McMurray said. “They know I’m the guy who stood up to Chris Collins first.”The National Republican Congressional Committee isn't getting involved in the primary, but is not concerned about a repeat performance from McMurray, NRCC spokesperson Michael McAdams said.“There’s not a snowball’s chance in hell that Nate McMurray can win with President Trump at the top of the ticket in a district he won by more than 24 points," McAdams said by email.McMurray, whose $24,021 in reported cash is dwarfed by Republican candidates' funds, said he’s not running his campaign out of the back of his car this time — “We’re better than we were a year ago” — and believes he will have a stronger foundation of support from local and national Democrats who took note of his underdog near-victory in 2018.The way he sees it, a crowded Republican field can only help.“The primary’s not ‘til June next year and they’re going to rip each other apart before then,” McMurray said.

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