BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Former Erie County Executive Chris Collins is headed to Congress after defeating Democratic rival and former County Clerk, Kathy Hochul.
It was a grueling and, at times, bitter campaign by both sides that saw the vote nearly split down the middle.
Collins said if elected, he would back the Romney administration that came before Congress. But with a second term for President Obama, Collins now says he hopes cross party talk will get the country moving forward.
"Obama is the President and I think he wants to leave office in four years with the country moving in the right direction with unemployment under six percent, energy independence and getting the deficit under control. So we share the same vision and let's debate the issues and let's compromise where it's appropriate and let's get the country moving," Collins said.
During his acceptance speech, President Obama brought up the need to stop the cross-party gridlock that was seen during his first four years in office.
"In the coming weeks and months, I am looking forward to reaching out and working with leaders for both parties to meet the challenges that we can only meet together," the President stated.
Collins responded, "I'm going to take the President at his word, and hopefully be one of those that he can reach out to and get this country moving again and understanding that there are differences. I'm hopeful that, Congress is rating at a 7 percent or 8 percent approval because there was not bi-partisan work on part of the country."
Does Congresswoman Hochul think Collins would contribute to the stalemate in the Republican controlled House?
"I do hope that he will reach across the aisle, and if I can help with the process, it's so important because people want a government they can believe in and have the party partisan politics stop," Hochul said.
The Congresswoman returns to Washington Tuesday to deal with the fiscal cliff of spending cuts and tax hikes coming in the new year. But what about after that?
News 4 Political Insider Len Lenihan said, "Obviously she developed a good relationship with him. She's a talented person that has shown that she can withstand a tough campaign, I wouldn't be surprised if she's offered a job in the Obama White House."
Hochul said, "I haven't even thought about it. I've got to spend some time with my family and get reacquainted. It's been a long time, it has been a long time running so I'm looking forward to just staying at home for a little bit. We'll see what happens, we'll figure it out."
Collins will also be in Washington next week for freshman orientation and to get his team in place.
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