In a May 2011 special election following the resignation of Republican Rep. Chris Lee, Kathy Hochul was elected to represent New York's 26th district, the first Democrat to hold the seat in 40 years. Following redistricting, Hochul will now be running in the newly drawn 27th district as one of the most vulnerable incumbents in 2012. Hochul is in a tight battle for this seat with former Erie County Executive Chris Collins. TheBlaze Senior Contributor Mallory Factor sat down with Collins for an interview in New York City this month to discuss the race, and what the Republican candidate would bring to Congress.
Collins tells The Blaze that he is running for congress "to help to do my part to help restore the promise of the American dream for our children and grandchildren."
"Most people recognize--most commonsense people--we cant continue in the direction we are with Barack Obama and his failed policies," Collins tells TheBlaze. "Mitt Romney--who will be our next president--needs a partner in the majority in Congress to help implement what he's going to do to get the economy moving, so we can have more jobs, energy independence, get rid of Obamacare and have a balanced budget."
Collins says that if elected, he will vote while keeping in mind his six core values: smaller government, personal accountability, local decision making, fiscal discipline, serving taxpayers and respecting future generations.
"My vision of the (future) United States:the United States of America will reclaim its past glory as the land of opportunity, providing a bright future for our children and grandchildren thats not R or D, Republican or Democrat."
Collins says his number one priority in Congress would be passing a balanced budget amendment that balanced the budget within the next ten years. The Republican would like to also see the U.S. become a net energy exporter in 10 years, by promoting nuclear power and clean coal; as well as more drilling offshore and on federal lands in a true 'all-of-the-above energy policy.' Collins says, part of this is getting the Environmental Protection Agency off the back of the farmers
Collins wants to see the corporate tax rate reduced to be competitive with the rest of the world as part of a complete overhal of the entire tax system. Collins calls for flatter taxes and a top personal income tax rate at 25 to 28 percent. On entitlement reform, the Republican goes back to his emphasis on local decision making; calling for block grants for medicaid, heating assistance and food stamps rather than having the issue handled by the federal government.
Collins told Mallory Factor earlier this month that he believes President Obama has done a terrible job on foreign policy by turning his back on allies like Israel and Great Britain. Collins says if elected he would stand "lockstep" with Israel, and turn to military leaders on Afghanistan to ask if we have accomplished our goals of defeating the Taliban and harboring al Qaeda. If we've accomplished these goals, Collins says its time go.
Watch Factor's complete interview with Collins below: