Democrat & Chronicle

February 25, 2016

A Batavia business owner said Thursday she plans to run against U.S. Rep. Chris Collins, R-Clarence, Erie County, in the November election.

Diana Kastenbaum, a Democrat and CEO of Pinnacle Manufacturing Company Inc., said in her campaign announcement that she will bring new ideas and solutions to western New York.

The 27th Congressional District includes parts of Monroe, Livingston and Ontario counties.

“We need a member of Congress who will fight for western New York on the issues that matter most; good paying jobs, ending income inequality, making college more affordable, and providing access to affordable health care," Kastenbaum's statement said. "Where Congress has failed us, I will lead.”

Collins, a former Erie County executive, was first elected to Congress in 2012, when he defeated Democrat Kathy Hochul — now the lieutenant governor. Collins was re-elected by a wide margin in 2014.

He also is a businessman and owns manufacturing companies in the Buffalo area. Kastenbaum's business is a zinc and aluminum die-casting manufacturing company.

On Wednesday, Collins became one of the first sitting members of Congress to endorse Republican Donald Trump for president. Earlier this week, Collins was endorsed for re-election by the Independence Party.

Michael McAdams, a campaign spokesman for Collins, said Collins looks forward to earning the support of families in his district again this year.

"Over the past three years, he has been a common sense, conservative voice in Washington, fighting for smaller government, more jobs, less regulation and an end to the government knows best mentality," McAdams said in a statement.

Collins' campaign had $942,106 in cash on hand and was carrying $500,000 in debt at the end of last year, according to financial disclosures. Kastenbaum has not reported any fundraising.

Batavia's Diana Kastenbaum to challenge Rep. Collins (link)