(WIVB) Voters in New York’s 27th congressional district head to the polls Tuesday for a unique opportunity, one in which Republicans will choose two separate outcomes for the same seat.
It was a lengthy campaign mostly sidelined by the pandemic. But things heated up with just a week to go.
The race for New York’s 27th congressional district is often political hardball at its best — and sometimes at its worst.
And this year is no different. Add what some have described as a confusing ballot, and tuesday’s primary and special election are sure to drive interest.
Voters on Tuesday will cast ballots in two races for the same congressional seat.
Democrat Nate Mcmurray, Republican Chris Jacobs and Libertarian Duane Whitmer are vying for the chance to fill the unexpired term of former Congressman Chris Collins, who resigned in October amid federal insider trading charges. He’s awaiting being sent to prison because of fears over the pandemic.
“What we’re seeing on a daily basis, people are disgusted by, and I think people want to try something different. Millions of people are out of work,there’s not a lot of hope right now. So we’re trying to say you can be hopeful right now. The future is going to be better,” said McMurray.
“It’s time for something new. It’s time for something different. Every year they say this is the most important election of your lifetime. And if that’s the case, we have to do something different. We can’t keep electing the same parties that have gotten us into this mess,” said Whitmer.
Republicans will also vote on which candidate they want to see on the GOP line in November, the person who will most likely face off again against McMurray.
They’ll choose from among a long time politician in Jacobs, the Erie County Comptroller, Stefan Mychajliw, and newcomer Beth Parlato, a former town justice and attorney.
“I am the political newcomer. I basically call myself the critical outsider in this race. I’ve lived here in this district for 53 years, and we really started a grassroots campaign. I really believe we have ignited a grassroots movement all throughout ny27,” said Parlato.
“This campaign has been upended many times of the past few months, especially a lot over the past few days. And when voters go to the booth, they’re going to say, who do I trust? Who’s going to be the real conservative and trump supporter. And that’s me,” said Mychajliw.
The campaign took a turn to the negative late in the game last week, when Jacobs was accused of voter and election fraud in a complaint sent to the Erie County District Attorney.
News 4 broke the story Thursday, exclusively outlining the charges in the complaint, including whether jacobs lives in the orchard park home he cited in voter registration and campaign filings.
DA John Flynn on Friday exonerated Jacobs, saying the Republican had invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in the home, and that there was no intent to bilk the system.
The Jacobs campaign didn’t respond to multiple requests for his comments tonight.
He’ll be voting Tuesday morning at his new precinct in Orchard Park.
Dave Greber is an award-winning anchor and reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2015. See more of his work here.