Indicted Congressman Chris Collins In A Recount As Thousands Of Ballots Yet To Be Counted

Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY) talks to reporters following a meeting with fellow members of Congress
Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

Republican Congressman Chris Collins is already facing charges of insider trading, and now he’s facing an ongoing re-election battle that may not quite be over. Collins was running to retain his seat in western New York, a traditionally red district where he was aiming to snag his fourth term. On election night, his Democratic opponent Nate McMurray seemed to concede, but now his campaign is wording things a bit differently.

As the New York Times notes, Republican Chris Collins currently leads Democratic candidate Nate McMurray by 1.1 percentage point. At the moment, only 2,910 votes separate the two. While reports indicate that 100 percent of the votes have been counted, there are still thousands of absentee ballots that have not been fully tallied and that leaves this one somewhat up in the air.

My Twin Tiers reports that McMurray’s team has said that the speech he delivered to reporters Tuesday night, where he noted he expected to fall “a little short” of winning, wasn’t intended to be a concession speech. This week it had also sounded as if he was demanding a recount, and he says that he essentially used incorrect verbiage when stating that.

McMurray says that there hasn’t even been an official count released yet, so it’s too early to talk about a recount. Unlike some states, New York does not have a provision that prompts an automatic recount in a close race. Regardless of the verbiage being used, McMurray isn’t ready to call this one and he thinks the Collins team seems afraid to wait for every vote to be counted.

Collins’ team has fired back at McMurray’s team, saying that the results have been decisive and that “The only campaign Nate McMurray is waging is that between himself and his ego.” Christopher Grant, Collins’ adviser, details that there are approximately 10,000 absentee ballots that still need to be tallied. He feels, however, that these tallies are unlikely to alter the outcome of having Collins on top in this race.

The Daily News adds that Grant said on Wednesday that McMurray’s comments about a recount amount to a “temper tantrum.” In addition, he accused the Democratic challenger of “trying to steal the results of the election.”

On Wednesday, McMurray talked to the press and said he’s not giving up on NY-27. He said they’re going to fight for every vote and for “those who have not been heard.” He added that he has to wonder what people are afraid of in terms of seemingly not wanting to wait for those remaining vote tallies.

Regardless of whether Chris Collins prevails over Nate McMurray or not, he is set to face a trial in 2020. He is accused of leaking confidential information to his son related to a biopharmaceutical company and he has pleaded not guilty. Collins faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted on the charges related to insider trading and lying to the FBI, notes the Associated Press.

Chris Collins’ district in New York is one of the reddest in the area, but this race was expected to be close. Can the remaining votes that need to be tallied shift the race to Democratic challenger Nate McMurray? It would be a significant shift if it did, but it doesn’t look as if McMurray is going to concede until every single vote has been counted.