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Collins and Bellavia prepare for Tuesday's vote


Two very different Republicans are on the ballot Tuesday, as the party seeks to push Representative Kathy Hochul out of Washington.

Chris Collins is well known in the most populated parts of the congressional district as former Erie County executive while David Bellavia is from the more rural parts of the district where he's best known as a combat soldier and writer.

Hochul slid into the seat after Representative Chris Lee resigned in a scandal over pictures of himself he put into social media.

Republicans want the seat back and the newly-reapportioned district is more Republican and without major population centers Amherst and Greece in Monroe County.

Bellavia says it's a conservative district, mixing both Republicans and Democrats.
"(Democrats are )very similar in the way their fundamental beliefs are as the Republicans are. There's not a whole lot of difference between the two sides. Obviously, guns are important to Democrats and Republicans here," Bellavia said.
Bellavia says it is a heavily agricultural district, with Collins saying there are more cows than people in Wyoming County, the state's dairy heartland.

Collins says he has a track record in cutting government and cutting taxes and that's what a conservative district wants from its member of Congress.
"I can give back to this community and I can take my experience in creating jobs and my experience as the County Executive reducing spending and turning around an insolvent county to Washington. I can make a difference, " Collins said. 

"And, as I said to the Boy Scouts again and again, the Cub Scout motto: 'Do your best.' My pledge to everyone is that I will do my best."

Whoever wins, it's expected to be an expensive race in November with both parties anxious to win the seat.


Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.