Third democrat may enter NY-27 race

Erie County has yet to endorse a democrat for 2020 election

Mike Baggerman
November 15, 2019 - 3:00 am

Jeremy Zellner. June 17, 2019 (WBEN Photo/Mike Baggerman)

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BUFFALO, N.Y. (WBEN) - While the republican field for the 27th congressional district election has had multiple candidates for the last several months, the democratic field is quickly growing.

Nate McMurray has been in the race for months and first-time candidate Melodie Baker has thrown her hat into the mix recently. Erie County Democrats Chairman Jeremy Zellner suggested that a third contender may come forward soon.

"I'll let that candidate make that announcement on their own terms," Zellner said. "After last year's election, I was approached by multiple people who were interested. Some of them were big-name elected officials. Some of them have told me in the last five days or so that they're not interested."

Erie County has substantial influence in how the candidates are determined for NY-27. Zellner said it represents about 49 percent of the weighted vote of the district.

"I've got 21 towns and 16 town leaders that want to have a say in this," Zellner said. "We are going to have a process."

Erie County Democrats have an executive committee meeting to interview candidates who have shown interest in running for Congress. He did not say whether the influence from other counties, many of whom have already endorsed McMurray for congress, will weigh on how Erie County Democrats will vote. Zellner said that the date of the special election next year will have an impact on the timing.

"Right now, our county is coming off a major election where we were very successful and put our heart and soul into it," he said. "A lot of people are kind of getting back to normal after the election and I think looking ahead to next year is what people are starting to do right now."

McMurray said prior to Baker entering the race that he would "keep pushing forward" if another candidate entered the race. Baker said she is focusing on the special election and called herself "the right choice".

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