Ex-Rep. Collins sentenced Friday, Gov. Cuomo calls special election for April 28

Berkeley Brean
Updated: January 13, 2020 06:39 PM
Created: January 13, 2020 06:37 PM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Chris Collins, the ex-congressman guilty of sharing inside information to save his family money is getting sentenced in Manhattan this Friday. 

And now we know when people have a chance to vote for his replacement. 


There's going to be a lot of votes for this seat this year. The first one is the special election. Monday Governor Cuomo picked April 28, the presidential primary in New York, when a lot of Democrats are likely to vote.

There's a reason we're in this position.

Two years ago, then-Congressman Collins was indicted in New York City, accused of sharing inside information about a drug company so his family could sell their shares before the stock went down.

On Sept. 30, 2019, Collins resigned. 

On Oct. 1 he pleaded guilty.

And on April 28, 211 days later, voters will chose a replacement.

It was announced in court at the Hall of Justice this morning by Assistant State Attorney General Ted O'Brien. He was in court because the governor was sued by the state Republican Party for not picking a date.

"There's already going to be elections held on that day, the presidential primaries," O'Brien said. "And so in the Governor's discretion, he thought that would make sense, rather than make people come back time and time again."

When Congresswoman Louise Slaughter died in 2018, her seat was empty for about eight months before the first vote.

The Democratic commissioner for the county Board of Elections told me the cost of this special election would be $25,000 to $30,000.

Commissioner Colleen Anderson said by having it on the same day at the presidential primary, the commissioner said most of that cost is covered. 

Today I reached the three republicans who say they're running for the seat. 

Beth Parlato is a lawyer in Buffalo. 

Beth Parlato, (R) Candidate in NY-27 special election: "This seat, in particular, we don't need another career politician. That's the last thing we need. We have a swamp in Albany. We have a swamp in D.C. I am not a politician. I'm a political outsider."

Robert Ortt is a state senator from North Tonawanda. 

Sen. Robert Ortt, (R) Candidate in NY-27 special election: "I think we have the record. We are battle-tested. I'm a battle-tested patriot running for Congress. And I think we need more people in Congress that are battle-tested and I certainly think we need more veterans in Congress, people that have worn the uniform."

And Chris Jacobs is a state senator from Erie County. His district hugs the shore of the Niagara River and Lake Erie.

Sen. Chris Jacobs, (R) Candidate in NY-27 special election: "I'm a business owner, had my own business for 18 years. But I've served stints at various levels, almost every level of government. I've demonstrated an ability to win tough elections and endure the slings and arrows inevitably that the special interests throw at you."

Nate McMurray appears to be the only democratic candidate for the 27th district. I emailed his campaign today but did not get a reply.

McMurray lost a narrow race to Chris Collins in November 2018. 

Here is important information about this district and your votes:

The special election is on April 28. 

That picks a winner to serve the remaining eight months of Collins' term this year. 

But then there's a primary election in June. 

The winner of the primary is the party's candidate in the general election in November. The winner of the general election serves a two-year term starting Jan. 1, 2021.  

Each election includes nine days of early voting. 

The chairs of the major parties pick their candidate for the special election. It's a weighted vote so the counties with the most number of enrolled voters in the 27th District have the most influence on the selection. 

Here's the breakdown on the weighted vote: 

County Vote Percentage
Erie 57,937 41.3
Niagara 24,345 17.3
Ontario 12,664 9
Livingston 12,036 8.5
Genesee 11,475 8.1
Wyoming 8,281 5.9
Orleans 7,579 5.4
Monroe 5,829 4.1
Total 140,146 100

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