Challenger Concedes NY-27 Race To Indicted Incumbent Chris Collins
BUFFALO, NY (WBFO) - Nearly three weeks after Election Day, Democrat Nate McMurray reluctantly conceded his race against Rep. Chris Collins in New York's 27th Congressional District. However, the concession included an angry series of blasts at the incumbent and a vow to "fight like hell" to re-involve the public in politics.
McMurray made the announcement Monday afternoon from his campaign headquarters in Hamburg. The Grand Island supervisor said despite the close vote count, he believes it is in the best interest of the community to concede.
After counting absentee and affadavit ballots last week, Erie County Board of Elections commissioners said a McMurray win was "mathmatically improbable."
Collins narrowly emerged victorious in what is considered New York's most heavily-Republican district. The incumbent Republican won despite being indicted on insider trading charges in August. He will stand trial in early 2020.
In making his concession, McMurray promised to hold Collins accountable for his actions.
"Your strategy was, by your own admission, cowardice and partisanship. So I will be watching. We all will be watching. We are not going anywhere," McMurray said. "Together, with the countless supporters that have stood up across this district and throughout the country, we built something special. We ignored the naysayers and we fought like hell for what we believe in."
He announced the formation of an organization called Fight Like Hell. He said its goal is to get more "regular people" to run for elected office and to hold leaders accountable.
"Fightlikehell.US. We're going to use this organization to organize," he said. "I'm going to take the thousands of people we've met, the hundreds of people we've worked together with and we are going to pay it forward. We're going to find ways to work to get people who feel disenfranchised, they are apathetic about politics, more involved. I want more people to run for office, regular people, not millionaires, not people who cheat the system, but decent and kind and good people."
He also said when the "time is right," he will run for office again.
Collins spokesperson Natalie Baldassarre issued the following statement Monday afternoon following the concession:
"This was a hard fought race and Congressman Collins is already back to work. He appreciates the support of voters across the 27th Congressional District and looks forward to ensuring our region's voice is heard in Congress."