The contest for New York’s 27th congressional district is getting a boost on either side, with Steve Bannon coming out to stump for indicted Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY) and national Democrats throwing their weight behind challenger Nate McMurray.
The Buffalo News reported Wednesday that Bannon, the former consigliere to President Trump, is speaking at an Oct. 24 “Red Tide Rising” rally organized by fellow Trump ally Michael Caputo.
Collins, one of the first Republican congressmen to back Trump’s presidential bid, was leading McMurray 46-43 in a recent poll of his red western New York district, in part because he’s staring down a federal trial for insider trading.
Grand Island town supervisor McMurray was added this week to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s “red to blue” list, meaning he’ll get a boost in fundraising and organizational support.
McMurray has tried to prevent nationalizing this race, telling TPM this week that he is running as someone who “knows this region” and simply thinks it’s “madness” that a lawmaker under federal indictment is running for reelection.
“I am an independent voice,” McMurray said. “I’m someone who fought this campaign with very little national support or national interest.”
Bannon has crisscrossed the country campaigning for vulnerable Republican candidates since departing the White House in the summer of 2017. His relationship with Trump has become somewhat estranged, thanks to interviews Bannon has given to the press criticizing the President’s policy decisions and crediting himself for some of the #MakeAmericaGreatAgain movement’s successes.
On Twitter, McMurray mocked the Collins’ team for inviting an out-of-favor Trump figure to campaign for one of Trump’s strongest backers in Congress.
The Democratic nominee shared a January 2018 quote from Trump himself: “Steve Bannon has nothing to do with me or my presidency. When he was fired, he not only lost his job, he lost his mind.”