Springville Journal Election 2012 coverage: United States Congress
Since her election to the Congressional seat in District NY-26 in a special election last year, Kathy Hochul has worked with Democrats and Republicans toward her stated goal of “strengthening our economy, cutting spending and balancing the budget the right way, not on the backs of our seniors, small businesses and the middle class.” This election cycle, Hochul is running to represent the newly-redistricted 27th Congressional District.
Hochul has been in government in Western New York for the past 12 years. Prior to her time in Congress, she served as Erie County Clerk. During her tenure, she eliminated several requirements for new license plates, revamped the customer service experience at the Erie County Department of Motor Vehicles and assisted in the pistol permitting process for gun owners. In 1994, as a Hamburg Town Board member, Hochul removed the tolls on the I-190 into Buffalo.
In 2006, Hochul helped establish the Kathleen Mary House. She also served on the board of directors. She has also been a member of the board of trustees at Immaculata Academy and a local library and co-founded the Village Action Coalition.
She holds a bachelor’s degree from Syracuse University and a Juris Doctor from Catholic University in Washington, D.C. She started her career working as in-house counsel to a corporation engaged in homeland security, had her own legal practice in Washington D.C. and served as a legal counsel and legislative assistant to Congressman John LaFalce and Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan.
“I know that neither party has all the answers and I’ve worked with my colleagues from both parties to move our country forward,” Hochul said, of her goals in Congress. “That is why I crossed the aisle to cut taxes on small businesses, and I was the only Democrat in the state to support a balanced budget amendment.
“If we’re going to revive our economy, we need to build new partnerships that encourage companies to ‘make it in America,” she said. It’s why I have encouraged investments in Western New York, by closing tax loopholes that reward corporations for shipping jobs overseas,” Hochul said.
Hochul has been married to her husband Bill since 1984 and the couple has two children, Billy and Katie.
Chris Collins is a small business owner with 36 years of experience in the private sector.
In 2007, Collins was elected Erie County executive. He took over the largest county in Upstate New York, with a $1.2 billion budget and more than 5,000 employees, that was nearly bankrupt. It had a state-imposed control board, no cash surplus, debt and many roads, bridges, parks and beaches that were closed. By implementing Lean Six Sigma, Collins left the county government with a surpolus and a decreased debt.
As county executive, Collins said he aimed for “smaller government, personal accountability, local decision making, fiscal discipline and a government that serves taxpayers and respects future generations.” He said he would carry these values to Washington as the congressman for the 27th Congressional District.
Collins lives in Clarence with his wife Mary. He has three children and three grandchildren. He earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in mechanical engineering from North Carolina State and an Master of Business Administration in finance from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He is a lifelong member of the Boy Scouts, an assistant Scoutmaster, an Eagle Scout, a member of the executive board of the Greater Niagara Frontier Council and chairman of the GNFC National Jamboree for 2001, 2005, 2010 and 2013, as well as the World Jamboree for 2007. He is the recipient of the Silver Beaver Award for service to Scouting and was named 2005 Horizon citizen of the year.