BUFFALO, N.Y. ( WKBW ) Just before 10p.m., Channel 7's Eyewitness News Political Analyst Bob Davis reported former Erie County Executive Chris Collins had a 4,700 vote lead in Erie and Niagara County to defeat challenger David Bellavia.
You saw that first on Channel 7.
Bob Davis predicted Chris Collins will become the Republican candidate in the race for the 27th Congressional District.
Unofficial totals with 95% of districts reporting show Chris Collins with a 60% lead over David Bellavia, with 40% of the vote.
Collins picked up over 10,000 votes, with Bellavia just over 7,000.
The strong showing for Chris Collins in Erie and Niagara County gave him the edge over Bellavia. According to Davis, Bellavia won outlying counties in the 27th District, including Monroe, Wyoming, Ontario, Orleans, Livingston, and Genesee.
In his victory speech, Chris Collins stressed the importance of creating jobs, citing his success as a businessman.
Bellavia said he will get behind Collins to take on Democratic challenger Kathy Hochul this fall.
Shortly before 11p.m., Congresswoman Kathy Hochul's campaign manager issued a statement obtained by Eyewitness News:
"Chris Collins has made it a hallmark of his campaign to avoid taking positions on key issues. But one thing is clear, Mr. Collins supports Paul Ryan's budget; a plan that turns Medicare into a voucher program and makes seniors pay $6,400 more for their Medicare benefits to fund tax cuts for multi-millionaires. He has even has said that it does not go far enough.
Analyst Bob Davis says the race for the 27th Congressional seat has begun.
In the U.S. Senate Republican Primary, three downstaters are vying for the GOP line to take on Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand this November.
George Maragos, Nassau County Comptroller, Rep. Bob Turner, and Wendy Long, a Manhattan attorney all running in this contest, with Wendy Long the predicted winner.
Unofficial results in the 23rd Congressional District show Nate Shinagawa has 69% of the vote to Leslie Dande Burke with 31%, Melissa Dobson has just over 8% in Chautauqua and Cattaraugus Counties.
Eyewitness News Multi Media Journalist Allen Leight talked with voters at the polls Tuesday, who were not familiar with all of the candidates. Republican Board of Elections chair Ralph Mohr said voter turnout was between 10-12%.
Complete coverage of the Republican Primary continues on Channel 7's Eyewitness News. Connect with the websites for the Erie and Niagara Board of Elections at the News Links section of wkbw.com.