Republicans retain House seat in special elections in western New York

Chris Jacobs, a Republican state senator, won a special House election in western New York on Tuesday, keeping control of his party in the last spot held by Chris Collins, who resigned just before pleading guilty to charges. federal insider trading.

Jacobs, 53, had bet his campaign on the popularity of President Trump, who was behind him; Mr. Trump’s son Donald Trump Jr. had also recorded an automatic call for Mr. Jacobs, the former Erie County employee.

That proved more than enough to dispatch Nate McMurray, the Democratic candidate, who was waging his second battle for 27. McMurray, a lawyer and former Fulbright fellow, had narrowly lost in 2018 to Collins, one of Trump’s early sponsors. The Associated Press called the race at 12:39 a.m.Wednesday.

McMurray had been considered a remote possibility in the district, a collection of largely rural and suburban towns between Buffalo and Rochester, where Trump had easily won in 2016, and where there are 40,000 more Republican than Democrat voters.

Mr. Jacobs won despite doubts among some Republicans that he was too moderate for the district. Since winning the Republican nomination in January, Jacobs had been faithful to the president’s policies, promising secure borders, strong Second Amendment protections, and the end of sanctuary cities.

Mr. McMurray, 45, received minimal help from established Democrats: The Democratic Congress Campaign Committee had little involvement in Mr. McMurray’s offer until the end of the campaign, paying by mail and a digital ad .

Nor did any of the state’s A-list Democrats spend political capital on the run, including Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, a third-term Democrat, who did not endorse McMurray. Cook’s Political Report listed District 27 as “a solid Republican.”

Like political cycles across the country, the campaign was affected by the coronavirus outbreak, which killed nearly 1,000 people in the eight counties that make up parts of the district. In late March, Cuomo moved the elections to June 23 from April 28, lengthening the campaign by two months.

Scion of a prominent Buffalo family, Mr. Jacobs raised over $ 1 million and lent his own campaign nearly $ 450,000.

As the winner of the special election, Mr. Jacobs will serve for the remainder of Mr. Collins’ term, which ends this year, although Mr. McMurray, a former city supervisor on Grand Island, New York, northwest of Buffalo, He has promised to continue fighting. : In November, when the seat is contested again for a full two-year term, Mr. McMurray will have the Democratic ballot.

In an electoral oddity, Jacobs, a second-term state senator, also faced a major challenge Tuesday from two Republicans, Beth Parlato and Stefan Mychajliw Jr .; Jacobs also won that primary, securing him a place on the Republican line.