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Collins says he's willing to work across the aisle

WBFO News by photo Mike Desmond

Chris Collins is moving onto the status of congressman-elect.

Collins is going to Washington this weekend for orientation and then to four days of instruction at Harvard University for new congressmen.

With the official count days away, Collins's unofficial majority is apparently enough to defeat Rep. Hochul in the most-Republican district in New York.  Collins leads Hochul 51 percent to 49 percent.  Hochul conceded defeat early Wednesday morning.

Speaking to reporters Wednesday afternoon, the former Erie County Executive says he recognizes he will be just a small part of the Washington landscape.

"It's different, and every time we travel a new path you've got understand what those differences are. I certainly did when I left the private sector to become county executive," said Collins.

Collins says he can work with President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats.

"If he reaches across the aisle with sincerity, I do believe we'll get things moving. The frustration is everywhere," said Collins. "If we don't work together, the country doesn't move forward."

However, Collins says he remains opposed to Obamacare and will work hard against the health care program.

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.