|COLLINS BOWS OUT OF GOVERNOR’S RACE…DENIES GAFFES ARE TO BLAME…”MY MESSAGE OF REFORM HAS NOT BEEN EMBRACED BY THOSE WHO ARE HAPPY WITH THE STATUS QUO”…WON’T BACK LAZIO
by Adama Brown
(First published on our sister site, www.rochesterpolitics.com)
Erie County Executive Chris Collins has ended his exploratory run for Governor of New York, following a series of embarrassing public gaffes.
Collins, who had been seeking the endorsement of the Republican state committee members when they convene to endorse a candidate in May, has become known for his repeated offensive statements while making the rounds in state political circles.
Most recently, Collins was blasted in the press even by members of his own party for his behavior at the State of the State address after asking a prominent Erie County businesswoman to give him a lap dance in exchange for a seat that had been held for her.
Collins was previously under fire last October for a statement made during the Erie County GOP’s fall fundraiser, comparing the State Assembly’s Jewish majority leader, Sheldon Silver, to Hitler and the Antichrist.
Speaking to the Buffalo News today, Collins denied that his decision had anything to do with his gaffes, stating that “It becomes apparent to me that my message of real reform and change has not been embraced by those who are happy with the status quo.”
The last remaining declared Republican candidate for Governor is former Long Island congressman and current JPMorgan Chase executive Rick Lazio, best known for his losing 2000 Senate campaign against Hillary Clinton. Collins stated that he does not intend to support Lazio for the Republican nomination, citing Lazio’s weak fundraising efforts.