Stunned Republicans Seethe Over Chris Collins Dilemma

Aug. 10, 2018
County Republican chairman Nick Langorthy, left, said party members have mixed feelings about Chris Collins' predicament. (Harry Scull Jr./Buffalo News)
County Republican chairman Nick Langorthy, left, said party members have mixed feelings about Chris Collins’ predicament.

In Republican lairs all over Western New York, the anger and resentment is seething.

Chris Collins, the safest Republican congressman in the entire state, has suddenly thrust a sure thing into question mark territory.

Nobody in GOP Land is happy. They must raise money for one of their own now in trouble — someone who may even end up in jail. They must cheer on Collins at firemen’s picnics and chicken barbecues even as he refuses to answer questions from constituents about the overarching issue of the 2018 re-election campaign – his federal indictment on insider trading charges.

“What kind of campaign can he run?” they ask.

Other Republican candidates on the ballot – some facing tough races – now worry about the Collins effect on their efforts. Some fret that Collins nominees or those mentioned as his favorites for federal office, like John Sinatra for U.S. district judge or Peter Vito for U.S. marshal, may now encounter confirmation troubles.

And they are forced to consider a host of legal and political maneuvers to retain the Collins seat, just as Democrats gain so much steam they are measuring for drapes in the speaker’s office.

Erie County Republican Chairman Nick Langworthy, never a Collins confidante but a loyal supporter, avoids any direct answer to whether the party still stands behind its congressman. He acknowledges local Republicans harbor mixed feelings about the sudden predicament.
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