Rep. Collins will drop out of race following insider trading charges
Rep. Chris Collins, who represents the 27th congressional district in New York, has decied to suspend his campaign following his indictment for insider trading.
With Collins dropping out, several Republicans have already begun jostling for position to replace him. The problem in this heavily Republican district is that it is unclear if Collins' name can be removed from the ballot. GOP officials are looking at a few options, but New York law states that a candidate can only be replaced on the ballot if he dies, moves out of state, or is nominated for another office. Collins has a residence in Florida as well as DC, so it's possible that Republicans will opt for that route.
Republicans in the district were hardly enthused about Collins’ initial plan to stay on the ballot, and several potential replacement candidates began quickly gauging support. In the mix are State Sen. Pat Gallivan, a former Erie County sheriff, Assemblyman David DiPietro and David Bellavia, a talk radio host and Iraq War veteran who has run for Congress before.
“In a matter where the Republican incumbent is going to lose a race because of criminal allegations of this nature, integrity is a key requirement in the candidate model for his replacement,” said Michael Caputo, a GOP political consultant and former Trump campaign aide who lives in the district. "And New York 27 is blessed: we have a man of deep faith in David DiPietro, a former sheriff in Pat Gallivan and a Medal of honor nominee in David Bellavia.”
McMurray said he would like to see Collins resign his seat outright, and faulted GOP leaders who are about to select a new candidate for sticking by Collins — whose relationship with Innate Immunotherapeutics was the subject of House ethics inquiries long before criminal charges were filed.
“It helps Western New York because we won’t have someone like that who will embarrass us in Congress again,” McMurray said. "It would have been a travesty for him to go forward with his campaign. I don’t know who they’re going to run, but we’re going to win anyway.”
The charges against Collins might be brought against other politicians in Washington who have access to insider information on which company might get a contract, or even steer business toward cronies and then trade on the inside information. Yes, it's a cesspool of corruption and Collins is only the latest example of it.
No matter which Republican ends up running, this is likely a safe GOP seat. Donald Trump got nearly 70% of the vote in 2016 and Collins won 67%.