UPDATE: Rep. Chris Jacobs has claimed victory in the race for the 27th District. Opponent Nate McMurray does not concede, saying all the votes have not been counted.
BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)–The Avant building downtown will serve tonight as the election headquarters for the Erie County Republican Committee.
At some point tonight Chris Jacobs is expected to take the stage win or lose in what is clearly the most-watched local race tonight.
Jacobs is the Republican in this race and voted this morning near his home in Orchard Park. He may have the advantage of the incumbency and of the GOP enrollment.
The NY 27th Congressional District stretches through eight counties and has about 40,000 more Republicans that it has Democrats. Still, Democratic challenger Nate McMurray came within 5.5% points in that special election in June.
So even though Jacobs was sworn into Congress about four months ago, he is taking nothing for granted tonight.
“I’m really excited the day is here. It’s been a long road, long campaign, and I’m certainly honored to serve the last several months since I won the special election, but I’m asking for the citizen’s vote to give me a full term to continue the hard work we’re doing down here in Washington here in the district,” Jacobs said.
Jacobs made a point of noting how proud he is to be on the Senate’s Agricultural Committee to serve many of the rural areas that are part of the 27th District between here and Rochester.
He also says, “before COVID, certainly the economy was the main focus and I think really now, in the midst of getting through COVID, it’s the same thing, reopening this economy, reopening it safely, getting the momentum back I felt we had prior to COVID, our employment rate was very low so getting through that and I’m gonna fight down in Washington as hard as I can.”
On the Democratic side, former Town of Grand Island Supervisor Nate McMurray is hoping to come out on top in New York’s 27th Congressional Race against Chris Jacobs.
This is the third time Nate McMurray is running for this seat – he has lost twice, in the general election in 2018 to Chris Collins then this past June in the special election to fill Collins’ vacated seat against Chris Jacobs, after Collins vacated that seat when he pleaded guilty to insider trading charges.
But McMurray says he’s confident this time around he’ll come out on top – and he’s proud that he’s stuck with it all this time.
McMurray says he’s been out speaking with voters since 6 a.m. when polls opened.
We caught up with him earlier today in Hamburg where he told News 4 he’s excited and happy with how he has campaigned up to this point.
“This is an important day, this is a historic day. And we’ve done everything we could to run a clean campaign and we’re happy, we’re excited about today,” McMurray said.
McMurray admitted he’s outnumbered and says it’s a difficult district for a Democrat to win, but he’s hopeful people will continue to look beyond the label and vote for him based on policy.
He says he’s excited but admitted he knew this campaign would be a tough one.
McMurray has been vocal about three specific platforms in the past. This includes bringing trust back into the government by banning lawmakers from owning individual stocks and banning lobbyists from becoming political fundraisers.
He also supports Medicare for all and vows to find ways to bring more jobs to the district.
“We’re going to need Republicans to vote for me – a lot of them. And we’re going to need every Democrat to come out. And I’m hoping people, for once, finally in NY-27 look beyond the party labels and look at the person. And I think if people look at the person they’re going to vote with me,” McMurray added.
There is also a third-party candidate hoping to win support from voters in the 27th Congressional District.
Duane Whitmer is running on the Libertarian line for Congress today.
During a recent debate he said that early voting can hurt minor party candidates.
Today Whitmer says picking him instead of Jacobs or McMurray is more than a symbolic statement.
Voting for me sends the message to both parties that you’re unhappy with what’s going on. If you’re a Republican voting for me you’re sending the message that Chris Jacobs voted to give Andrew Cuomo the power to shut down and didn’t fight it,” Whitmer said. “If you’re a Democrat voting for me, you’re sending a message that, you don’t want government controlled health care, you don’t want banning of ARs which McMurray has said he does favor.”
During this century this seat in Congress has been held by a Republican except when Kathy Hochul won it in a special election back in 2012.