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Orleans Dems planning March 6 forum with final 2 Democratic candidates in 27th

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 26 February 2018 at 10:18 am

Local party leaders will make endorsement after hearing from Nate McMurray, Nick Stankevich

Nate McMurray

ALBION – The Orleans County Democratic Party Committee will host a forum on March 6 with the final two candidates seeking the Democratic endorsement for the 27th Congressional District.

The forum will be form 7 to 9 p.m. at the QWL Building on Washington Street in Albion. The event is open to the public, including people who aren’t Democrats.

After hearing from Nate McMurray and Nick Stankevich, Democratic Party leaders from Orleans expect to endorse one of the candidates, said Jeanne Crane, party chairwoman.

Nicholas Stankevich

There were five Democrats seeking to challenge incumbent Chris Collins, a Republican from Clarence. But the following have recently dropped out of the race: Joan Seamans, owner of a photography studio in Williamsville; former Erie County Assistant District Attorney Sean B. Bunny; and engineer Thomas P. Casey of Erie County.

“There is a lot of money involved and that discourages people,” Crane said today.

McMurray, the Grand Island town supervisor, has the backing of Turn 27 Blue, a coalition of left-learning grassroots groups as well as many Democratic Party leaders. McMurray currently lives just outside the 27th District. He grew up in North Tonawanda which is in the district. McMurray’s campaign noted that Chris Collins lived outside the district when he challenged John LaFalce for Congress in 1998. LaFalce was re-elected.

Since the endorsement from Turn 27 Blue, the Democratic field has narrowed with only Nick Stankevich, a businessman from Mumford in Livingston County, remaining to challenge McMurray for the Democratic line.

Stankevich, in a statement on Sunday, said he will force a Democratic Party primary.

“You deserve the freedom of a primary, and you deserve a rural candidate who lives in the district,” Stankevich said in his statement to supporters. “I’ve shown you, my neighbors, that I have a plan to beat Chris Collins come November, and it starts with you.”

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