BY JEREMY MOULE
David Bellavia won Monroe County in the 27th Congressional District Republican primary, but he lost district-wide. Former Erie County Executive Chris Collins will be the Republican Party’s candidate against incumbent Democrat Kathy Hochul.
Erie and Niagara Counties, which is where many of the district’s voters are concentrated, went heavily for Collins. Bellavia’s support tended to come from the rural counties.
Without being able to read voters’ minds, there’s not much of a conclusion to draw, except that the majority of voters preferred Collins as a candidate. Name recognition could have been a factor; Collins got a lot of media exposure during his years leading Erie County. Otherwise, both candidates had conservative positions that would have resonated with Republican primary voters.
And it’s not like we’re talking about a large voting group: in Monroe County’s part of the district, turnout was about 9 percent. Bellavia got 406 votes, plus another 12 from absentee ballots, while Collins got 217 votes, plus another 16 from absentee ballots.
Turnout was even lower for the statewide US Senate primary. Countywide, approximately 6 percent of registered Republicans cast a ballot. Attorney Wendy Long won the county and the state by a huge margin, beating Congress member Bob Turner and Nassau County Comptroller George Maragos. Though registered Conservatives couldn’t vote in the election, the backing of the state Conservative Party probably helped Long.
She’ll face Democratic incumbent Kirsten Gillibrand in the general election.