Republican Congressional Primary Turns Nasty

4:52 PM, Jun 23, 2012   |    comments
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Republicans Chris Collins and David Bellavia will face off in the June primary.

Lancaster, N.Y. - With just a few days to go until primary day, the race for the Republican nomination for the new 27th district congressional seat is getting nasty.

"My opponent is running a very negative campaign," says former Erie County Executive Chris Collins.

"I'm running a campaign based on principle, honor and integrity," says Collins' opponent, Iraq war veteran David Bellavia.

The the district is currently represented by Democrat Kathy Hochul.

Under district lines that will take effect next year, the district will no longer include Amherst. The new district picks up some of the Southtowns and will run through eight counties- from Niagara County in the north, east all the way to near Rochester.

The two Republican candidates couldn't be much different and they point it out whenever they can.

Bellavia is from the heart of the district in Batavia, and many party activists from outside of Erie County feel that Collins and the Erie County Republican party have been trying to strong arm them over the last two years when it comes to choosing candidates.

David Bellavia: "Bigfoot has been seen more times in Wyoming County than Mr. Collins."

Chris Collins: "His current message today is 'vote against Chris Collins, he's from Erie County.' That's his message into the seven other counties. It's all negative."

Scott Brown: "He says you've been going negative?"

David Bellavia: "Well the truth, the truth will set you free."

When he was Erie County Executive, Collins signed a document to join a gun control group, but then quickly disavowed that.

In the conservative 27th district, Collins says he'll be plenty conservative.

Chris Collins: "I'm a strong proponent of second amendment rights and I will have a 100% pro-life voting record." 

David Bellavia: "When SCOPE, the guns right group, gives you an A rating, thank you, 'Mr. Second Amendment' doesn't have that."

Now when it comes to money, Collins due to his personal wealth has the advantage.

Collins has loaned his campaign $250,000, Bellavia has loaned his $45,000.

As of two weeks ago, Collins had $176,000 left to spend on the race, while Bellavia was down to $43,000.

Collins is running a radio commercial in the Rochester area, Bellavia admits he doesn't have the money to air any radio or TV commercials.

Scott Brown: "How do you overcome his money advantage?"

David Bellavia: "Just by meeting people, talking about our message. So far I've knocked on over 3,000 doors."

Even though he was defeated as County Executive last year, Collins says he's did well within those areas in Erie County that are in the new district.

Chris Collins: "In the towns that are within the 27th congressional district I carried them with 64% of the vote."

David Bellavia: "I'd like to remind my opponent, he took 64% of this district and there was one choice on the menu but now there's two and there's going to be a whole lot of humility on the part of the Erie County machine on the 26th."







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