Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY) will remain on the ballot this November, a Republican source with knowledge of his decision tells TPM, a blow to the GOP’s hopes of holding onto a seat once viewed as safely Republican.
The move comes after a month of legal wrangling in which Collins, who’s under indictment for insider trading, sought to get off the ballot and give another Republican a chance to hold the seat for the party this fall.
But the deadline to remove himself had passed — and Collins’ change of heart and decision not to cooperate with local Republicans leaves them stuck with the indicted congressman as their candidate.
“At this point they’d have to accept and cooperate with any plans they’d put in place. They’ve chosen not to do so,” Erie County Republican Chairman Nick Langworthy said in a Monday press conference. “I’m disappointed.”
With Collins on the ballot, Democrats have a serious shot at winning a conservative upstate New York district that President Trump carried by a 25-point margin just two years ago, the latest headache for the GOP. Republican strategists privately concede that their chances of hanging onto House control are slim.
The Buffalo News first reported Collins’ decision.