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Watch the special election debate on News 4

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(WIVB) — The candidates running in the special election for the 27th Congressional District seat held a debate Tuesday on News 4.

The two major-party candidates running in the special election are Republican Chris Jacobs and Democrat Nate McMurray.

News 4 planned a debate in early April, but had to postpone due to the coronavirus.

New york’s 27th congressional district spans eight counties, including the suburbs of Buffalo and Rochester, as well as towns and cities in the Finger Lakes region.

The seat for the district has been vacant since October of 2019 when former Republican Congressman Chris Collins resigned following an insider trading scandal.

Collins pleaded guilty to federal charges. His prison sentence remains suspended because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This special election to fill the empty seat will be held on June 23. It will happen on the same date, and on the same ballot, as the Republican primary.

Mcmurray is the former supervisor of the Town of Grand Island. He ran for this seat in 2018 — narrowly losing to the incumbent at the time Chris Collins.

Jacobs is a state senator and has previously served as the Erie County Clerk and on the Buffalo School Board.

Duane Witmer, an accountant from Lake View, will appear on the Libertarian line.

Republicans living in the district will vote twice on June 23. They’ll vote in the special election for congressional representation for the next six months.

They’ll also vote for the GOP candidate they want to see on the general election ballot in November.

The Republican Primary will feature Jacobs, Erie County Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw, and former Darien Town Justice Beth Parlato.

Whatever happens in the Republican Primary will not have an impact on the results of the special election.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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