Western New York Republican Chris Collins, facing federal insider trading charges, very narrowly won his congressional re-election bid last fall.
When all the votes were tallied, Collins ended up beating his Democratic challenger, Nate McMurray, by less than half a percentage point in the mid-term race. McMurray has continued to be active on social media and in the community and has maintained the appearance of someone who plans on challenging the congressman again.
He half-confirmed his intentions Friday on Twitter, tweeting that if Collins runs again, he will too.
The Republican incumbent has not confirmed he will run for what would be his 5th term. Friday, he made it sound like the decision is still very much up in the air.
“I’m debating that,” he said. “We’ll debate within my family and you know, I’ve been there eight years and so that will be a decision for early next year, one that I’m not locked in on right now.”
Collins does not believe the close result in 2018 would be a reason not to run. In fact, he pointed out he received more votes than any other Republican candidate in New York and more than some members of House GOP leadership.
He said he would expect the total to be even higher for a presidential election year in a district in which President Donald Trump remains popular.
“140,000 people, probably in the nastiest election that there’s ever been, said they wanted me to come back as their member, so I would say that I’m in a pretty good spot,” he said. “Clearly, anyone that voted for me last time’s gonna do it again.”
Collins said if he runs, McMurray would be his “dream candidate to run against.” He said the Democrat is a far-left candidate who has moved even further left since last year.
The congressman noted the status of his ongoing federal litigation will weigh into his ultimate decision.
McMurray released a statement to Spectrum News, saying:
"He talks tough, but the man can’t even look me in the eyes. Not only did he refuse to debate me, he literally runs away from me every time he sees me coming.
He knows I had the largest partisan swing of any first-time state or federal candidate in the country last year. He knows how many people want me to face him again. If anyone is a "dream opponent," it’s Chris.
Because what has he ever done for Western New York? What has he done to help tax payers here? What has he done to expand health care? What has he done to lower the costs of education, stop population loss, or help create more jobs?"