Erie County Dems Demand Collins Allies Denounce Anti-Christ Remark

ALBANY—The chairman of the Erie County Democratic committee just called on anyone receiving support from County Executive Chris Collins, a Republican, to denounce a comment he made this weekend at a fund-raiser comparing Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who is an observant Jew, to the anti-Christ.

“I just think that anybody who’s received support from Collins, financial or otherwise, should denounce this statement,” Lenihan told me by phone from his home, where he has been recovering from quadruple bypass surgery (and is doing well.)

Collins has picked and is supporting a slate of county legislative candidates, and is backing a challenger to Mark Poloncarz, the incumbent Democratic comptroller and is supporting Sheriff Tim Howard, a Republican. Collins apologized for the remark, which was made Saturday evening.

Lenihan said the comment was “thoughtless, arrogant” “sickening” and “borders on the sacrilegious.” He said it should give people who would consider supporting Collins for governor, a position that he is openly weighing a run for.

“Chris Collin is a grandstander of the worst magnitude. He masquerades as a business executive and he’s easily the most political animal we’ve ever seen as county executive,” Lenihan said. “His contempt for people in public life is outrageous.”