A special election in New York's 27th Congressional District will be held on April 28. Governor Andrew M. Cuomo officially proclaimed the date on Monday.
The special election will be held to fill vacancies in the 27th district as well as the 11th, 31st and 136th state Assembly districts and the 15th state Senate District.
Now that the election has been scheduled, local party committees have to officially name their candidates. In the 27th Congressional District, that was already done, unofficially. The Democratic Party is backing Nate McMurray, former Grand Island town supervisor, and the Republican Party is going with current state Sen. Chris Jacobs.
Republican leaders previously expressed dissatisfaction with a special election date of April 28, which is also the date of the Democratic Presidential Primary Election in New York.
On Monday, Jacobs expressed disappointment with the date, claiming it gives the Democratic candidate an advantage, but noted he has "won tough races before."
"We are confident that ... Western New Yorkers will choose Chris Jacobs, a conservative who will support President Trump’s agenda, end sanctuary cities and stop the socialist government takeover of healthcare that will bankrupt Medicare for seniors, over Nate McMurray, who wants to impose a socialist agenda, supports Bernie Sanders’ Medicare for All scheme, opposes the border wall and supports amnesty," he said in a statement released by his campaign.
McMurray welcomed the development.
"After months of uncertainty, Western New Yorkers will finally get representation in Congress," he said in a statement. "It is clear that our base is fired up and ready to send a message to Washington: The people of NY-27 aren’t simply going to fall in line behind a single party while Washington robs us of our Social Security and healthcare. ... . I’m not going to Washington for any party or political insiders, I’m going for the people of Western New York."
Former representative Chris Collins vacated the 27th district seat at the end of September, right before pleading guilty to insider trading charges. Last month, Collins was sentenced to 26 months in federal prison.
The winner of the April 28 special election will complete the remainder of Collins' term of office, which expires at the end of this year.
One or both major parties will be in campaign mode again in June, when primary elections are slated to determine who's on the November 2020 ballot.
While McMurray does not appear to have any primary challengers, a battle is forming on the GOP side where several hopefuls who didn't get the county party chairs' backing to run in the special election, including family law attorney Beth Parlato and Erie County Comptroller Stefan Mychjliw, are gearing up to take their cases directly to the Republican electorate.