By a narrow margin, Chris Collins unseated Democratic incumbent Kathy Hochul with 51 percent of the votes in unofficial results.
In a race that seemed in early voting results that it might go to the Democratic incumbent, in the end it was Republican Chris Collins who took the lead. Collins, an Erie County businessman, unseated U.S. Rep. Kathy Hochul, D-Hamburg, to represent the new 27th Congressional District. The district that sweeps across western New York includes about 60 percent of Ontario County — Naples west of Route 21; Bristol, South Bristol, Canandaigua, Farmington, Canadice, Richmond, East Bloomfield and Victor.
By a narrow margin, Collins beat Hochul with 51 percent of the votes according to unofficial results posted by the Buffalo News. Collins received 150,446 to Hochul’s 146,134.
A businessman with 36 years in the private sector, Collins is also a former Erie County Executive. Collins, who lives in Clarence, owns some half a dozen companies including Bloch Industries, a kitchen cabinet and commercial casework company in Monroe County. In a GOP primary earlier this year, Collins beat Iraq war veteran David Bellavia of Batavia to go on to defeat Hochul.
Doug Finch, chairman of the Ontario County Republican Committee, said at a gathering in Canandaigua election night he was pleased with the results. "Chris Collins has already been to Canandaigua at least a dozen times. He actually was just here (Monday), he just wanted to stop in for breakfast at the Lafayette Restaurant and Hotel ... We’re really excited about having him in the area.”
Hochul, who was also a familiar face in Canandaigua, where she visited businesses and recently participated in a forum of community leaders at Wood Library, released a statement on the results, saying: “Early this morning, I called Chris Collins and congratulated him on being elected to Congress. I encouraged him to work across the aisle and offered to assist him in any way I can. I also volunteered to help him make a smooth transition in January to ensure our constituents are well served. Congress can do better, and the people of this country deserve better than what Washington has given them.”
Includes reporting by The Buffalo News, and Messenger Post reporters Melody Burri and Scott Pukos.