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BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Indicted U.S. Rep. Chris Collins of New York will remain on the November ballot despite previously suspending his campaign, confounding Republican Party leaders in his district Monday who had counted on Collins’ cooperation to replace him.
The surprise decision by Collins, who pleaded not guilty to insider trading charges in August, throws the race for the western New York seat further into turmoil.
The article goes on to state the following:
Erie County GOP Chairman Nick Langworthy said Collins confirmed his plans to him Monday morning, suggesting in a phone call that removing himself from the ballot could undermine his legal defense.
“As of last Monday, Mr. Collins was fully prepared to work with party officials to substitute himself from the ballot, so we had no reason to expect this,” said Langworthy, who said he felt “a little bit like a jilted groom at the altar.”
In a statement later, Collins’ attorney Mark Braden said: “Because of the protracted and uncertain nature of any legal effort to replace Congressman Collins we do not see a path allowing Congressman Collins to be replaced on the ballot.”
There was no immediate comment from Collins, and it was not clear whether he would actively campaign. Collins, an early and ardent supporter of President Donald Trump, has a $1.3 million campaign war chest.
Since his indictment, Republican leaders across the eight counties of the right-leaning district between Buffalo and Rochester had been working to remove Collins from the congressional ballot by making him a place-holding nominee for another position such as county clerk. They were expected to announce their choice to replace Collins on the congressional ballot as early as this week.
Breaking Story in :60
Rep. Chris Collins is staying on the ballot despite his arrest on insider trading. The GOP chair which controls most of the 27th Rep. District called it “a curve ball” and said a vote for Democrat Nate McMurray “is a vote for impeachment.” @news10nbc pic.twitter.com/XSaomKGAFr
— Berkeley Brean (@whec_bbrean) September 17, 2018
A Republican official says U.S. Rep. Chris Collins will remain on the November ballot despite previously suspending his campaign amid an insider trading indictment. https://t.co/0Ci1OhAENg
— The Associated Press (@AP) September 17, 2018
If this was a Democrat, Democrats would be insisting he step down.
GOP Rep. Chris Collins, indicted on insider trading charges, reversed course and planned to announce he would stay on the ballot to seek another term#MondayMotivation #CultureOfCorruptionhttps://t.co/jI1driwaI1
— Holly Figueroa O’Reilly (@AynRandPaulRyan) September 17, 2018
NEW: Indicted Rep. Chris Collins was was out for reelection and now he is back in.
“The choices couldn’t be more stark,” said DNC Chair Tom Perez, who was in the district on Monday. “But as much as anything, integrity is on the ballot.”
— Shane Goldmacher (@ShaneGoldmacher) September 17, 2018
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