CANANDAIGUA, N.Y. (WROC/AP) — Republican Chris Jacobs became the newest House member on Tuesday, taking the oath of office to fill the unexpired term of former GOP Rep. Chris Collins who left Congress after pleading guilty to federal insider trading charges.
Jacobs, who has been a state senator, had the support of President Donald Trump as he won a special election last month against Democrat Nate McMurray, who said he would fight on.
“We have three months to make sure Chris Jacobs has the shortest term in congress ever,” McMurray said a press conference Thursday.
Jacobs wore a face mask, as he took the oath of office on the House floor from Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Jacobs, 53, will serve the five and one-half months remaining in the Collins’ term.
About the same time Jacobs was being sworn in, McMurray held a press conference with supporters in Canandaigua.
“The bottom line is they [Republicans] look very weak,” McMurray said. “They’re trying to slither their way into Washington and trying to say ‘there’s nothing to see here.'”
On the night of June’s primary, Republican Chris Jacobs declared victory over Democrat McMurray in the race.
“It’s mathematically impossible for him [McMurray] to catch up to us with the absentees, and so we are happy to say, we are announcing that we are victorious in the special election,” Jacobs told his supporters late on election night.
In the days following the primary, McMurray said it would be “irresponsible” to declare defeat in the race when there were so many absentee ballots left to be counted.
According to the New York State Board of Elections, McMurray trails Jacobs by nearly 40%:
McMurray says he remains committed to continuing the campaign through November’s general election.
“We’re going to continue to fight,” McMurray said. “I believe 2020 is going to be the time we prove what America is really about.”
Jacobs and McMurray were two of a handful of candidates vying for the opportunity to fill the vacated spot in Congress. Jacobs competed in two NY-27 races; the special election to fill the vacated seat, and a primary to appear on the ballot in November’s general.
This past October, Collins pleaded guilty to insider trading charges. Hours before his plea, the Republican resigned from his position as representative for New York’s 27th District. He is scheduled to report to prison in August.
Democrats control the House 232-198, plus one independent and four vacancies.