Indicted GOP lawmaker announces he’ll continue campaigning

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Rep. Chris Collins (R-N.Y.) announced Wednesday plans to “actively campaign” despite previously announcing his campaign suspension. 

Collins was arrested and charged with federal securities fraud in August. Shortly after the indictment, he announced he would suspend his re-election campaign.

“Voters can be assured that with the turn of recent events, they can count on me to actively campaign for Congress, and to serve should voters re-elect me. The stakes are too high to allow the radical left to take control of this seat in Congress. Their Agenda is clear,” he said in a statement on Twitter.

{mosads}Collins promised he would “work to ensure the 27th Congressional District remains in Republican hands, while I fight to clear my good name in the courts.”

He faces Democrat Nate McMurray in the election. The Cook Political Report earlier this week changed its prediction for the race from “likely Republican” to “lean Republican.”

Buffalo News first reported Monday the embattled congressman’s name would remain on the ballot in November despite Republicans’ efforts to find a way to remove it and recruit a new candidate.

Collins — one of President Trump’s closest allies in the House — pleaded not guilty to charges of securities fraud and lying to the FBI about his alleged attempt to tip off family members on nonpublic stock information about Innate Immunotherapeutics, a biopharmaceutical company in which he was a shareholder and sat on the board.

Collins’ son, Cameron, and his future father-in-law, Stephen Zarsky, were also charged with lying to investigators and insider trading.

The House Ethics Committee voted unanimously to establish an investigative subcommittee to look into the allegations against Collins earlier this month.

Collins’ reversal comes after he released a statement in August saying, “After extensive discussions with my family and my friends over the last few days, I have decided that 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.”

-Updated 4:14 p.m.

Tags Chris Collins Donald Trump
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