Election Profile: New York’s 27th Congressional District

On June 23, 2020, some voters in New York’s 27th congressional district will vote in two congressional elections in one day.

One of those two elections is a special election to fill a vacancy. At present, the House seat in the 27th congressional district is vacant following the September 30, 2019 resignation of Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY-27). A special election to fill this vacancy was originally scheduled for April 28, 2020, but was postponed to June 23 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The winner of this special election shall serve the remainder of Collins’s unexpired term, which runs through the end of this year. In the November elections, voters will select a congressmember to represent them for the two-year term beginning in 2021.

Four candidates are running for Congress in the June 23 special election: Democrat Nate McMurray, a former Grand Island Town Supervisor; Green Party candidate Michael Gammariello; Libertarian Duane Whitmer; and Republican State Sen. Chris Jacobs. This Western New York district is the most Republican-leaning district in the state; however, some observers believe that the Democratic candidate could be helped by the fact that New York is holding a Democratic presidential primary on the same day. While the results of the Democratic presidential primary are a foregone conclusion (former Vice President Joe Biden is the only candidate left in the race), there is no Republican presidential primary taking place in New York. It is possible that the Democratic presidential primary could lead to high voter turnout by Democratic voters, giving Democrats an advantage.

In addition, 27th district voters who are enrolled in the Republican Party or the Libertarian Party will cast ballots in congressional primaries on June 23. These primaries will determine which candidates will be on the ballot in the November general election for Congress. The Republican primary features Sen. Jacobs, Erie County Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw, and Republican Beth Parlato, a former Darien town justice. The Libertarian primary candidates are Nicholas Phelps and Duane Whitmer.

For more information on these races and others, please visit NewYorkFamilies.org and access New Yorker’s Family Research Foundation’s nonpartisan voter guide.