Embattled New York Republican Rep. Chris Collins is reportedly going to get a boost from Steve Bannon next week.
The controversial political strategist and former top adviser to President Donald Trump is scheduled to headline an Oct. 24 campaign rally at a fire station in Elma in Western New York that may not be specifically for Collins, but is designed to promote GOP candidates on the ballot there.
“It’s a ‘Red Tide Rising’ rally to get out the vote for all Republican candidates in the region,” political consultant Michael R. Caputo told The Buffalo News. “People will be coming from all around, but everyone is concerned about NY-27 going blue.”
The newspaper reported that Caputo was organizing the rally, and that Bannon was planning to make other appearances on the campaign trail to boost Republicans.
Collins, who is seeking a fourth term representing the 27th District, finds himself in a suddenly competitive race against Democrat Nate McMurray, the Grand Island town supervisor. He won a third term in 2016 by 34 points, but recent polls have shown the contest tightening. Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales rates the race Leans Republican.
Collins was the first GOP member of the House to endorse Trump’s presidential run in 2016. He is continuing to seek re-election despite being under criminal indictment for alleged insider trading and wire fraud in connection with an Australian biotechnology firm. A trial is scheduled for Feb. 3, 2020.
New York’s election laws make it exceptionally difficult for a party to replace a candidate on the ballot. After his indictment in August, Collins suspended his campaign but reversed course last month after Republican leaders attempted for weeks to find a way to replace him. Local GOP leaders were reportedly blindsided by his decision to remain on the ballot.
Bridget Bowman contributed to this report. Watch: 24 House Ratings Change in Favor of Democrats, One Month Out