By Robert J. McCarthy
Chris Collins has not yet taken the oath of office as the new representative of the 27th Congressional District, but is nevertheless starting to raise funds for his re-election effort in 2014.
In what is billed as a "holiday celebration with Congressman-elect Chris Collins," his campaign organization is sponsoring the fundraising event on Dec. 11 at the Hyatt Regency Buffalo. Collins supporters can join or rejoin the "Collins Congressional Caucus" for $1,000 or $2,500 for membership throughout 2013, or pay $100 for the general reception.
Collins lent his campaign $650,000 of his own funds during his successful effort against Rep. Kathleen C. Hochul, D-Hamburg, according to federal records. In previous campaigns as a candidate for county executive, he also lent his campaign $800,000 in personal funds and then paid himself back through additional fundraising efforts.