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New York delays presidential primary, special election to June

Special election will pick successor to GOP Rep. Chris Collins

New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo postponed the state's April 28 elections until June 23.
New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo postponed the state's April 28 elections until June 23. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced Saturday that the state’s presidential primary and a special election in the 27th District will be postponed from April 28 to June 23 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The elections will now coincide with the state’s primaries for congressional and state legislative races. The special election in the 27th District will replace former GOP Rep. Chris Collins, who resigned in September and was sentenced to prison for insider trading.

“I don’t think it’s wise to be bringing a lot of people to one location to vote,” Cuomo said in a Saturday news conference. The governor noted he originally advocated for the presidential primary to be on the same day as the other primaries.

The 27th District special election features Democrat Nate McMurray, who nearly defeated Collins in 2018, and GOP state Sen. Chris Jacobs. Cuomo aide Melissa DeRosa confirmed during the governor’s news conference, “We’re going to move all of the elections to June.”

Erie County Democratic Jeremy Zellner also confirmed to CQ Roll Call that the special election would be moved to June 23.

Earlier this week, McMurray called on Cuomo to postpone the election.

“We can’t risk the health of voters and poll workers; we must stop the spread of this disease,” McMurray said in a statement. “The people of NY-27 and beyond also need to maintain confidence in the integrity of these critical elections. We must hold this special election, but the right thing to do is to reschedule it.”  

Republicans are confident they will hold onto the Western New York House seat. President Donald Trump carried the district by 24 points in 2016, his widest margin of victory in all of the state’s congressional districts. Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales rates the race Solidly Republican.

New York is the 15th state to postpone elections amid the pandemic. The Empire State was one of six states scheduled to hold presidential primaries on April 28. All six have now postponed those elections until June.

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