Is Collins in the driver's seat in #Race2Replace?

Experts say Collins can't veto replacement if he takes another nomination

Tom Puckett
September 10, 2018 - 4:00 am

Buffalo, NY (WBEN) Is Chris Collins in control over who replaces him on the ballot in NY27? This as the race to replace continues.

GOP strategist Carl Calabrese is not quick to say Collins is in the driver's seat, but notes the congressman, who suspended his campaign after an insider trading indictment, has some cards to play. "Does he stay on the ballot, or would he resign beforehand and make that an open process for the governor to call a special election, so he has a decision to make," says Calabrese. "If he stays and wins, what does he do after he wins? Does he resign, or does he say he'll have his day in court and not step down until that's resolved." Calabrese says he's been in touch with GOP leaders in the 27th district and right now, the consensus is it's much more difficult to replace him on the ballot and it turns out his name will be on the ballot in November.

Calabrese says the only way Collins can get off the ballot is death, relocation, taking a job that has federal funding or accept another nomination.

Erie County Republican Elections Commissioner Ralph Mohr says Collins won't have a say in who replaces him if he is off the ballot. "The selection of the replacement is made according to party rules. In the Republican party, it's the eight party chairs in the counties that comprise the 27th Congressional District. With respect to Conservative and Independence lines, that would be the state committees," explains Mohr.

Mohr says if Collins is accepts a nomination or a position that disqualifies him from serving in Congress, so Collins holds the key to whether there will be a vacancy. 

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