Chris Jacobs to Run for Chris Collins' House Seat in 2020

Collins up for re-election same year he's set to face trial

Brian Mazurowski
May 17, 2019 - 10:31 am

WBEN Photo/Matt Moran

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Buffalo, NY (WBEN) - WBEN has confirmed that Republican New York State Senator Chris Jacobs will run for Congress in the 27th District in 2020, challenging indicted incumbent Chris Collins should he choose to seek re-election. 

"I really have no intention of being disrespectful to Mr Collins," Jacobs told WBEN. "Unfortunately... with the legal proceedings, he is just at this point not able to do all that a Congressman should be able to do in that capacity. We need somebody that is going to be able to do everything they can to advocate for this region."

The move would mean there will likely be a primary race on the Republican side, something that didn't happen in the previous election cycle. Jacobs said he welcomes the opportunity to run against other Republicans in a primary, but said he is not sure if that field will include Collins.

"I don't know, you'll have to ask Mr. Collins," Jacobs said when asked if he anticipated running against the incumbent.

Jacobs though did seem prepared to take on Collins if necessary.

"He's not serving on commitees. Commitees are critically important. If you're not serving on commitees, are you really able to effectively represent your district? I think it's tme we get a full Congressman who's able to do all those things."

Collins was indicted on federal charges related to insider trading last year. Despite that, he narrowly defeated Democrat Nate McMurray in his 2018 Congressional election. Collins is scheduled to face trial beginning in February of 2020.

Jacobs told WBEN he supports President Trump and his agenda, focusing on trade with China and Mexico as an issue he hopes to campaign on.

He is the first Republican to announce his candidacy in what may be a crowded field. Erie County Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw has already been vocal about his desire to run for the seat. State Senator Rob Ortt, WBEN Host David Bellavia, and Erie County Legislator Ed Rath all expresed interest in campaigning for the seat last year.

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