Like former Rep. Chris Collins, state Sen. Robert Ortt is a staunch defender of President Donald Trump

State Sen. Robert Ortt, Republican from Niagara County, announced Thursday he received a perfect score from the Conservative Party of New York State. Each year, the Conservative Party rates state legislators based on how they vote on various bills and issues from the previous year. Ortt received a perfect score for the 2019 legislative session.

Ortt this summer declared his candidacy for the 27th Congressional District. He was in Ontario County shortly after that, for a press conference at the courthouse announcing a bill he sponsored to prevent a proposed $25 fee on new license plates.

The 27th district “must be represented by an individual who is proud to stand up for the conservative values of those held by so many in Western New York,” stated Ortt in a release Thursday. “Each day, we continue to see an assault on not only our president but on our fundamental values by the radical left. President Trump needs strong allies who will stand with him against these assaults, and at a time when our values are under attack, I have been a battle-tested defender of those values. I am proud to be recognized.”

Ortt hopes to fill the seat held by former Rep. Chris Collins, R-Clarence, also a staunch defender of Trump. Collins resigned Oct. 1 after pleading guilty to felony charges involving insider trading. A sentencing hearing in the case is set for next Jan. 17.

The eight-county 27th district — which includes Ontario County — remains vacant with Gov. Andrew Cuomo expected to call a special election for April.

Republican candidates emerging for the special election include front-runner Sen. Chris Jacobs of Buffalo, a former Erie County clerk.

Democrat Nate McMurray of Erie County, who narrowly lost to Collins in 2018, declared his candidacy months ago. McMurray, who is Grand Island town supervisor, has been endorsed by seven of the eight county Democratic chairs in the district representing the counties of Orleans, Genesee, Wyoming, Livingston, Monroe, Niagara, and Ontario.

In recent developments, Democrat Melodie Baker, also of Erie County, announced her candidacy in seeking the Democratic nomination in the 27th. Baker is director of education for the United Way of Buffalo and Erie County and an advocate for children and families as chair of the Erie-Niagara Birth to 8 Coalition and the co-chair of RaisingNY.

Ortt did not mention his candidacy for the 27th District in touting his rating from the Conservative Party. “I am proud to have stood firm on my beliefs as a Conservative and a Christian, stood up for the Conservative values our nation was founded upon, and pushed back on the radical legislation that the regressive left has forced upon the residents of New York State,” he stated.