Declared NY-27 candidates surprised by Collins resignation

Four candidates chime in to the Chris Collins news

Mike Baggerman
October 01, 2019 - 3:00 am

Brendan Keany


BUFFALO, N.Y. (WBEN) - The declared candidates for the 27th Congressional District have all shared their thoughts on the resignation of Chris Collins from the House of Representatives.

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Collins resigned Monday in the midst of a legal battle that has lasted for more than a year over insider trading and lying to the FBI. Collins is accused of tipping off his son, Cameron, to a failed drug trial that would have plummeted the stocks of an Australian pharmaceutical company. Cameron then allegedly told his father-in-law, Stephen Zarsky, about the tip. The two saved hundreds of thousands of dollars by selling their stock.

Collins did not sell his shares, though him allegedly tipping off the news was enough for federal authorities to bring charges.

Chris Jacobs

"I'm surprised as everybody else is. It's certainly not a happy day and it shouldn't be for our area. I think it's important for us to now move on. A major reason why I got into the race is because I'm concerned about the legal problems that Mr. Collins had and his ability to truly represent this district. He has not been able to this entire session to serve on committees. I was seriously concerned about charges because I thought they were real. As opposed to what he had said all along, I thought he was going to inevitably plead and resign. It's unfortunate it took this long because I think the people of the 27th district have been under-represented this entire session in Congress. Now we move on and it's important to restore public trust. I will convey that in terms of my message."

Jacobs, who leads other candidates in fundraising, said he expects his support to continue.

Beth Parlato

"The first thing that goes through my head is, honestly, is that it sounds is as if Congressman Collins needs prayer. That, honestly, was my first thing. He and his family need prayer and I definitely have been praying for him today. It does give us the opportunity to put this behind us. Everybody's been wondering what the congressman is going to do. I've said from day one I have nothing negative at all to say about the congressman. He has served our district well. I've lived in this district for 52 years. It has been a distraction but now is the opportunity to put this behind us."

Parlato continues to say that her grassroot efforts will move forward and was always assuming that Collins was not going to run.

Rob Ortt

"Obviously the timing of it is a surprise. He obviously knew the decision he felt best for him. Certainly disappointing for the residents and constituents of his district, especially considering he was a strong supporter of President Trump. This district is a strong supporter of President Trump and his agenda. Now, more than ever, we need a battle-tested conservative patriot in Washington, D.C. to defend the president and represent this district. We were in this race before Congressman Collins made his decision. We are in today and we are going forward with our campaign."

He said the news on Collins will not change the way he goes about his campaign.

Nate McMurray (statement)

“The real victims of Collins' crimes are the people of his district that he repeatedly lied to about his guilt. Collins and Republican party insiders robbed his constituents of the representation they need on important issues like the rising cost of healthcare, the opioid epidemic, and the fight for good paying jobs. They all failed us, so I’m going to keep talking about the critical issues Western New Yorkers face every day, because that’s what public service should be about, working to make other people’s lives just a little bit better."


Erie County Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw and WBEN host and Medal of Honor Recipient David Bellavia have not officially declared a run for the vacant seat.


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