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Orleans GOP Committee hears from 4 candidates for 27th, but doesn’t endorse

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 17 January 2020 at 9:30 am

GAINES – Four candidates seeking Republican support for the vacant 27th Congressional seat met with the Orleans County Republican Committee on Thursday night.

State Sen. Rob Ortt of North Tonawanda, State Sen. Chris Jacobs of Buffalo, Erie County Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw and former Darien town justice Beth Parlato all met with the committee.

The Orleans Republican leaders didn’t make an endorsement because the chairmen from the eight counties in the Republican district will pick the candidate for a special election that likely will be April 28.

“We have to wait and see who our candidate is,” said Skip Draper, chairman of the Orleans County Republican Party.

Draper said the county chairmen are expected to meet next week to pick a candidate for the special election. Draper hasn’t decided yet who he will be backing.

“I’m going to meet with other chairman and decide what’s best for the district,” he said.

Whoever wins the special election will finish the remaining eight months of a term. The seat was vacated in September when Chris Collins resigned. He has pleaded guilty to insider trading and lying to the FBI. He will be sentenced in federal court this afternoon.

Democrats have backed Nate McMurray, who lost a very close race to Collins in November 2018. The district is heavily Republican.

The Republicans could see a primary on June 23 to determine who will be the Republican candidate on Nov. 3, when there is a general election for a full two-year term for the 27th Congressional seat.

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