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GOP Rep. Chris Collins wins reelection in NY despite insider trading charges

Embattled Rep. Chris CollinsChristopher (Chris) Carl CollinsProposed House GOP rules would force indicted lawmakers to step down from leader roles: report GOP Rep. Chris Collins wins reelection in NY despite insider trading charges The Hill's Morning Report — Judgment Day: New data suggest big Dem gains in House, governors’ races MORE (R-N.Y.) staved off a challenge from Democrat Nate McMurray and was reelected to another term in the House on Tuesday.

Collins, who was charged by the Justice Department in August with securities fraud and lying to the FBI, will now serve his fourth term in the House representing New York’s 27th Congressional District while those charges loom over him.

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Collins led by 1.1 percentage points with a majority of precincts reporting when the race was called. 

McMurray conceded the race around 11 p.m. on Tuesday, but his campaign called for a recount hours later, pointing to Collins's slim margin of victory. 

"After examining the numbers, the margin is 1% and the will of the voters must be heard. We are demanding a recount. Mr. Collins is going to need another set of lawyers,” McMurray said in a statement. 

Speaking to reporters after McMurray conceded, Collins said he expects to be exonerated of the charges against him. He is currently scheduled to go to trial in 2020.

“That’s a very long ways away. I’ve always said I’m innocent of the meritless charges that were lodged. I will have my day in my court,” he said. “... My focus now is going back and supporting the Trump agenda.”

Collins, who pleaded not guilty to the insider trading charges, initially suspended his reelection campaign after he was indicted but ultimately decided to stay in the race.

The charges threw what was once seen as an easy reelection bid into doubt, with the Cook Political Report and FiveThirtyEight rating the race as only leaning Republican before Tuesday.

The congressman’s victory came by a slim margin. With 76 percent of precincts reporting, he had received 49.4 percent of the vote to McMurray’s 48.5 percent.

McMurray, a town supervisor from Niagara County, conceded the race shortly after 11 p.m. on Tuesday. He told supporters in his concession speech that they “did a great thing.”

“We are not going to be sad. We did a great thing. No one thought we’d come this far. No one thought we had a chance,” McMurray said.