DEPEW, N.Y.-- Not EVERY member of Congress gets a the President or Vice President to be a featured speaker at a fundraiser. Those plums are handed out carefully.
They usually go to Representatives or Senators in two categories: those in peril of losing and those who have been loyal to the administration.
Congressman Chris Collins appears to be latter classification.
Today, Collins hosted a fundraiser at Salvatore's restaurant in Depew, featuring a tax talk by Vice President Mike Pence.
Members of the media were kept off the property during the noon-hour event. So, we do not know how many people attended (although the parking lot was quite full). We also do not know what was served for lunch.
We do know this. Collins campaign manager Chris Grant says the one event should net the campaign over $400,000.
Add that to the million-dollars cash-on-hand the campaign reported at the end of September and it makes for an intimidating war-chest.
Factor in that Collins is a conservative Republican in the most Republican district in Upstate New York, and he begins to look unbeatable.
Not so, says Erie County Democratic Committee chairman Jeremy Zellner.
"Right now, we have a couple people who are interested. We met with ten candidates two month ago in Batavia that were interested and that’s whittled down to about two now.”
And Zellner insists that because Collins is a "lightning rod candidate" who is strongly disliked by Democrats around the country, contributions will come in for whoever faces Collins next year.
But thanks to the Pence appearance today, the job of beating Collins got $400,000 harder.