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Protesters call out plan to remove Collins from ballot

Mike Desmond/WBFO

Chanting, protest signs and marchers. It was all in Eden last night as several dozen people appeared to oppose a rumored plan to place indicted Congressman Chris Collins onto the town ballot. It's a move which would allow Republican leaders to remove Collins from the November ballot and boost the party's chances of retaining the 27th Congressional District.

"Republican leaders decided to unequivocally support Chris Collins when they knew he was under ethics investigation. Their political problem is of their own making," said Town Democratic Chairman Ed Krycia.

Town Republicans also showed for the event and expressed their opposition to bringing Collins into the fold in Eden.

"I find it hard to believe that Chris Collins in the situation that he finds himself right now has even thought about being an assessor or town clerk in the Town of Eden," said Town Supervisor Melissa Hartman.

Four members of the Town Board are Republicans and the other member is a conservative.

"We value our residents and it is our preference that those that want to run for our town and serve our community should be from our town," Hartman added.

Town voters will fill the vacant town clerk and assessor positions on the November ballot.

"The idea that a Republican leader wants to foist Chris Collins onto the town we love is shameful," Krycia said. 

"It's the height of arrogance to assume that an entire town government is theirs to manipulate and control."

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.