From the Morning Memo;

The battle for NY-27 in Western New York was one of the closest congressional contests in the country in 2018.

Less than half a percentage point separated incumbent Republican Rep. Chris Collins, who was (and still is) facing federal insider trading charges, and his Democratic challenger Nate McMurray. Almost immediately after the results became final, local and national pundits began speculating about a 2020 rematch.

McMurray has not officially announced his candidacy for next year, outside of promising that if Collins runs again – not nearly a certainty – that he will, too. However, the Democrat definitely is making all the right moves that someone planning to run again would make.

Thursday afternoon, for example, he posted a video to Twitter, urging supporter to sign up to volunteer for, and to donate to, his yet-unofficial campaign.

“To keep Washington focused on this race, we need to start fundraising now,” McMurray said. “That money will be used to pay for competent staff that’s so hard to find and gets away early, and also to pay for the advertising and the outreach that we need to cover this giant district.”

In 2018, McMurray struggled to get institutional support from national Democrats and to raise money early on. That situation changed when Collins was indicted, but McMurray has lamented at times that the assistance came too late in the game to make a significant impact on his race.

That doesn’t appear to be the case this time around. In his video, McMurray notes he has already met with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee recently, and it has named NY-27 one of its priorities races.

“They asked me to start now, building that volunteer base again that was so powerful before and to start the fundraising process,” he said.

Collins is not scheduled to go to trial until February 2020, which is before the general election, but well into the campaign season. McMurray said nobody knows what is going to happen with that litigation, which is part of the reason he is preparing now.