Next door in the new NY-27, former Erie County exec Chris Collins will be face off in a primary against highly decorated and very conservative Iraq War vet David Bellavia. According to Alan Bedenko (Buffalopundit), Bellavia will receive support from Jack Davis, a millionaire serial candidate for Congress. Davis alternated between running as a Democrat and a Republican during the last few cycles, while consistently remaining a bitter old man with zero retail political skills. He’s planning to inject his money and vitriol into the NY-27 race in the form a SuperPAC that will advertise on behalf of Bellavia.
Because the new NY-27 encompasses some Monroe County towns and neighboring counties south and west of Rochester, Davis’ PAC will probably buy a fair amount of advertising in the Rochester market. Collins, like Brooks, is a middle-of-the-road, pork-friendly Republican who doesn’t want to talk about social issues. Pro-Bellavia ads will expose Rochester voters to attacks on a moderate Republican from the right, and Rochester media will no doubt ask Maggie Brooks whether the substance of those attacks also apply to her.
In addition to making trouble for Collins in the Republican primary, Bellavia (with Davis’ money behind him) is a logical choice for the Conservative party line. If he wins that and Collins wins the Republican Primary, we’ll have the wet dream of every Democrat in the new NY-27, which is a Dede Scozzafava situation where conservatives split between Collins and Bellavia. That’s relevant to NY-25 because Bellavia ads in the Fall will continue to put far-right ideology in front of NY-25 voters. Maggie will either have to disavow that ideology (and alienate her base), or embrace it (and alienate moderates).