If you had any doubt that Chris Collins‘ star has not only faded, but has been all but extinguished, witness State Senator George Maziarz’s astonishing, early endorsement of David Bellavia to challenge Democrat Kathy Hochul in the newly constituted NY-27.
In just a few short weeks, Bellavia has taken the reins in this Republican primary – he announced first, he challenged Collins to a series of debates – an activity Collins detests, and he has lined up the support of millionaire Jack Davis. Bellavia has seemingly accumulated not only momentum, but something he has always sorely lacked – money. Now, boots are on the ground collecting signatures, and Bellavia expects to well exceed the approximately 1,000 signatures needed to get on the Republican ballot, and may also seek a second line.
Collins has a tough row to hoe. As I wrote in November, Collins’ tenure in government was packed with mini-scandals. He referred to the Jewish Assembly Speaker as the “anti-Christ”, and the time when Collins jokingly demanded a “lap dance” in order to save a seat at the State of the State address for a well-connected female executive at a local construction company. It ignores the fact that, to some people, informing them days before Christmas that they’d be losing their state-funded daycare services and that they’d have to quit their jobs to watch their kids, is quite scandalous indeed.
Secondly, Collins did not, as some claim, “fulfill all his promises“. Collins raised taxes, deepened regional cleaves, and ran on “Three Rs – Reforming Erie County government, Rebuilding the local economy, and ultimately, Reducing taxes.”
He did not reform county government – in fact, he resisted and blocked reforms almost routinely (another “r”); he did not rebuild the local economy, but ensured that stimulus funds were hoarded to artificially improve his balance sheet; and he did not reduce – but raised – taxes. That’s breaking your promises, and that’s failure under any measure. It’s no wonder he lost.
Bellavia is now collecting support from the Republican establishment – especially those who were never big fans of Collins’. Here is the relevant text of the Maziarz endorsement press release:
New York State Senator George D. Maziarz today announced his Republican Primary endorsement of conservative Republican David Bellavia for Congress in the 27th Congressional District of New York.
“I’ve known David Bellavia and his family for many years and I can speak with great confidence about his principle, honor, and integrity,” Sen. Maziarz said. “I am very proud of the way David represented western New York when he fought so heroically in the Iraq War. When he returned from combat I encouraged his interest in politics and I can say without reservation David Bellavia is by far the best person to represent our area in Congress.”
Upon Bellavia’s return from combat, Maziarz was instrumental in awarding him with the New York State Conspicuous Service Cross and inducting him into the New York State Veterans Hall of Fame.
“While I admire David for his military service, it is important for the voters to know his knowledge of national issues far exceeds his opponent in the Republican Primary and his general election competitor,” Sen. Maziarz said. “David knows how those issues impact the working class, because he is just like the constituents of the 27th District – a hardworking family man who knows what it’s like to struggle with high taxes and balancing the family budget.”
“I am humbled by Sen. Maziarz’s early support in this Republican Primary because I know he weighs endorsements very carefully,” Bellavia said. “He has been a mentor to me with his advice and counsel and an example to me with how he conducts himself as a public servant. His backing is a real shot in the arm for our campaign, especially because almost his entire State Senate district lies within the 27th Congressional District.”
“I will strive to serve Sen. Maziarz’s constituents in Congress with as much devotion to duty as he has shown for 17 years in the State Senate,” Bellavia said.