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Collins, McMurray spar over residency

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Mon, Feb 19th 2018 09:30 am
The race for the 27th Congressional District is heating up.
On Friday, Congressman Chris Collins' campaign spokesman, Bryan Piligra, issued the following statement "after Democrat party bosses chose to back Nate McMurray in the upcoming 2018 election.
"Congratulations to NY-26 resident Nathan McMurray on beating out several actual NY-27 residents to win the support of the Democrat party bosses. This selection shows the Democrats learned nothing from the 2016 election and are again kicking progressives to the curb by rigging the primary to benefit an out-of-district Hillary Clinton wannabe with an email problem.
"While Nate McMurray was busy at his Grand Island Town Hall Campaign Headquarters currying favor with the Democrat establishment and figuring out how to sell the Cuomo/Pelosi agenda to NY-27 voters, Chris Collins was spending his time delivering historic tax cuts for working families in his district, expanding access to broadband in rural communities, defending our Lake Ontario Shoreline and protecting our Second Amendment rights."
On Saturday, McMurray's camp fired back with this release:
"When Christopher Collins first ran for Congress in 1998, he lived outside the district he planned to run for. At the time, he asserted that his residency in the nearby town of Clarence would not impact his ability to represent the people of NY-29.
"Collins is quoted as saying, 'Although my personal residence is in Clarence, everything from by business to my community involvement has been in the 29th district.' He used those reasons to conclude, 'the 29th congressional district is what makes sense for me.'
"After staunchly defending himself for running for a district he did not reside in, Collins has turned the tables. Collins began attacking Nate McMurray, a Democrat from Grand Island who has been endorsed to challenge Collins for the NY-27 congressional seat in the 2018 election. One of the main arguments being circulated by Collins' team is that McMurray does not live in the 27th district, and therefore cannot represent the people.
" 'That argument lacks teeth, since Christopher himself boasted during his run that non-residency would not affect his relationship with his constituents,' McMurray said. 'Christopher refuses to meet with residents. He does not hold local meetings. When is the last time someone even saw him step foot in the district?'
"Collins now lives in the district he represents, but he has gained notoriety for being perpetually absent. His allegations against McMurray are 1) hypocritical, and 2) designed to take distract voters from his own absence."

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