Buffalo, N.Y. (WHAM) - Days after federal attorneys charged him with insider trading and lying to the FBI, Congressman Chris Collins has announced he will not be seeking re-election for his seat in the House of Representatives.
The Republican representative from New York’s 27th District made the announcement in a statement Saturday morning.
A federal complaint filed Wednesday morning alleges that in June 2017, Collins used non-public information from an Australian biotech firm to tip off his son Cameron Collins to sell stock in the firm ahead of a failed clinical trial for a drug that treated multiple sclerosis. Collins was serving as a board member at the time.
By selling millions of shares ahead of the public announcement about the drug's failed trials, the Congressman's son and everyone who was tipped off ahead of time avoided losing approximately $768,600, according to court paperwork.
Rep. Collins, his son and the father of his son's girlfriend were all charged with insider trading.
Collins had posted $500,000 bail after pleading not guilty in front of a federal judge in Manhattan. He said at a news conference late Wednesday evening that he would fight the charges.
Three candidates who have expressed interest in replacing Collins on the ticket include decorated Iraq War veteran David Bellavia, Erie County Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw, and Buffalo businessman Carl Paladino.
At a news conference Saturday evening, Collins' Democratic challenger Nate McMurray called the Congressman's actions embarrassing. He is calling on the Republican party to force him to resign.
According to the New York State Board of Elections, there are three ways in which Collins could be removed from the ballot at this point in the race. He would either have to be deceased, disqualified based on a change in residence, or be nominated for a second public office and accept that nomination before the November election. death
The third option of be designated for another office would open up his spot on the ballot for the GOP to nominate someone else.
If none of these situations arise, Collins would remain on the ballot and he could win. If that happens, he would have to resign the office to create a vacancy and Governor Andrew Cuomo would have to call a special election for someone else to take that office.