While Collins sits out, McMurray, Piegza agree to debate
The Reform Party Candidate, Larry Piegza, announces he is willing to take Chris Collins' spot in the McMurray/Collins debate.
"Chris Collins obviously has more pressing legal issues than to explain to the voters in NY-27 how he intends to represent us," Piegza sent in a statement. "Fortunately, there are still two candidates on the ballot that are prepared to represent our district.
"Nate McMurray, I accept your #DebateNate Challenge. If the Buffalo News is still willing to host it, I am still game. Collins can come if he can get time away from preparing for his trial. I am sure that the voters would love to hear how he plans to represent our district if he is convicted and serving jail time."
A pro-Trump Republican, Piegza has been unsuccessfully pushing the local Republican offices to only endorse ethical candidates for the last 12 months. He earned the Reform Party's endorsement in June. In the past, the Reform Party has always endorsed Collins, but they broke from it this year when they learned about the fact that Collins might have broken the law.
"Kudos to the Reform Party for only supporting candidates who are more ethically sound," Piegza said. "And it really paid off. If they hadn't stepped up an endorsed me, the people in the district would have had to choose between voting for a possible criminal and a Democrat.
"I would have been curious to see how many people actually voted in November. Now, they can vote for an ethical conservative who supports all of Trump's agenda. In addition, I plan to use an online town hall so the people in the district can always tell me what their needs are. That means I will be able to do a better job of keeping in touch with everyone than Collins did."
Piegza has tried unsuccessfully to debate McMurray in the past. In the weeks following Collins' indictment, his campaign aired 30-second commercials on WBEN accepting his #DebateNate challenge. These were ignored by the McMurray campaign.
Now, it appears that McMurray is changing his mind. In a Facebook post on Oct. 10, 2018, McMurray played off of the "Fix It Larry" moniker McMurray has used for his website (FixItLarry.org) and said that McMurray should be calling for a debate.
"BANG THAT HAMMER! Democracy needs some noise." In the post, McMurray also proposes to set up an empty chair for Collins.
"This is a welcome surprise," Piegza said. "I thought that I would finally get a chance to debate Nate at the forum at SUNY Geneseo, but apparently McMurray isn't attending. I am glad to see he isn't avoiding me."
As for the empty chair, Piegza says, "Collins might feel more comfortable if we swap the chair out for a prison bench."
Nice to SEE and HEAR them ;)