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Collins, A Class Act to the Bitter End

Few would argue that Chris Collins has been overly attentive to the moods and needs of the people, but this is a real prize pig of a statement: “The public has spoken,” Collins said in his concession speech Tuesday night. “I don’t quite know what to make of that. But they did.

In conceeding, Collins promised that he would ensure a smooth transition for the Poloncarz administration. One thing he learned from his experience with the Boy Scouts, he said, is that when you lose an election, you move on: no vindictiveness.

Nonetheless, Collins chose to forgo the tradition of calling his opponent to congratulate him. He hadn’t spoken to Poloncarz for four years. Why should he start talking to him now?

It will be interesting to see what Collins means by a smooth transition. In his first year, Poloncarz will be saddled with the budget that Collins already has submitted, as amended by the legislature, which is controlled by Democrats. Will Collins veto or ignore changes Democrats seek to impose on his budget—changes that meet Poloncarz’s approval? (Collins certainly has defied the Legislature’s power to amend his budgets in the past.) Or will he understand and acquiesce to the message the people of Erie County sent him on Tuesday?

> Geoff Kelly

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