Three-term congressman Rep. Chris Collins (R-N.Y.) has suspended his bid for reelection after being indicted for his alleged involvement in an insider trading scheme.
According to the indictment, Collins shared non-public information about an Australian biotech company back in 2017. As a major shareholder and member of the company’s board, Collins allegedly informed his son about the failure of the company’s multiple sclerosis drug in its clinical trial before the results were made public. This allowed the congressman’s family to sell off their shares in time to avoid more than $760,000 in potential losses.
Collins, his son, and another associate were arrested by the FBI Wednesday and the congressman now faces multiple counts of securities fraud, wire fraud as well as being charged with lying to investigators.
The congressman announced his suspension Saturday morning on Twitter, stating that it would be “in the best interests of the constituents of NY-27, the Republican Party and President Trump’s agenda.”
Republicans are now seeking to replace Collin’s name on the ballot with a more favorable candidate. But, according to New York State law, in order for the congressman’s name to be replaced, he must either die, move out of state or be nominated for another office. Considering the congressman currently owns other residences in Florida and Washington D.C., he may be expected to move in order for Republicans to get another name on the ballot in time.
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Republican leaders from each of the eight counties in the 27th District will soon meet to select a replacement candidate, according to Erie County GOP Chairman Nick Langworthy.
“In a matter where the Republican incumbent is going to lose a race because of criminal allegations of this nature, integrity is a key requirement in the candidate model for his replacement,” said Michael Caputo, a GOP political consultant and former Trump campaign aide who lives in the district.
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Collins still plans to finish his term in office as congressman.