Republican Congressman Chris Collins suspends campaign following FBI charges of fraud

BUFFALO, NY - AUGUST 08: U.S. Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY), with his wife Mary at his side, holds a news conference in response to his arrest for insider trading on August 8, 2018 in Buffalo, New York. Collins, along with son Cameron Collins and his fiancé's father Stephen Zarsky, were arraigned today in Manhattan federal court on charges of insider trading, conspiracy to commit fraud, and lying to federal officials. (Photo by John Normile/Getty Images)

Republican Congressman Chris Collins has issued a statement saying that he will not run for re-election in the fall in order to protect “my party” from Democrats who want to impeach Donald Trump. 

After extensive discussions with my family and my friends over the last few days, I have decided it is in the best interests of the constituents of NY-27, the Republican Party and President Trump’s agenda for me to suspend my campaign for re-election to Congress.

Barring extraordinary legal action, it is too late in the cycle for Collins’ name to be removed from the ballot in New York State. New York Republicans are considering some grounds on which they can look for some opportunity to select and insert another candidate … but it seems unlikely. The Democratic candidate in NY-27 is Nathan McMurray, who is currently the Town Supervisor of Grand Island. 

Donald Trump won NY-27 by a vote of 60-35, and Collins won his seat in 2016 by 67-32. This is not a district where Republicans expected to spend a dime.

Collins was the first Congressman to announce his support of Trump before the 2016 election and has appeared on television over 200 times acting as a Trump surrogate. Collins was also a member of Trump’s transition team along with Congressman Devin Nunes.

On Wednesday, the FBI arrested and indicted Collins on charges of securities fraud. 

Collins dropping out at this point makes 38 Republicans in the House who are not defending their seats in November. 

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