Embattled Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY), who represents New York’s 27th Congressional District, will remain on the November ballot despite being indicted on charges of insider trading and lying to federal agents.
First reported by The Buffalo News, Mark Braden, legal counsel for Collins, confirmed to The Daily Beast that the three-term congressman will stick it out.
“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,” he said in a statement.
Collins, in mid-August, had said he was abandoning his re-election bid, adding, “I look forward to having my good name cleared of any wrongdoing.”
The upstate district, which includes the suburbs of Buffalo and Rochester, went for President Trump by nearly 25 percentage points in 2016, but Democrats see an opening with Collins—the first member of Congress to endorse Trump’s presidential bid—remaining on the ballot.
Republicans were hopeful to have the opportunity to replace him, as the uniqueness of his legal troubles could pose a threat for retaining the likely GOP seat.
Erie County Republican Chair Nick Langworthy said on Monday that he felt “a bit like a jilted groom at the altar,” learning the news as Republicans weighed who Collins’ replacement could be.
Nate McMurray, Collins’ Democratic opponent, learned of the news as he was opening a new headquarters alongside Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez.
“Well it’s nice to finally know who I’m running against,” McMurray said in a statement. “But, in truth, we always knew we were running against Chris Collins. There are laws for a reason. There is accountability in our society for a reason. And in the greatest democracy in the world, voters weren’t going to take this kind of sham switching around names on a ballot at the whims of local party bosses.”