Rep. Chris Collins will remain on the ballot despite indictment

Indicted Republican Rep. Chris Collins will remain on the ballot in November despite ...

Posted: Sep 17, 2018 11:59 PM
Updated: Sep 17, 2018 11:59 PM

Indicted Republican Rep. Chris Collins will remain on the ballot in November despite suspending his re-election bid last month, his attorney confirmed Monday, citing possible legal challenges that could result from efforts to remove Collins from the ballot.

"Because of the protracted and uncertain nature of any legal effort to replace Congressman Collins, we do not see a path allowing Congressman Collins to be replaced on the ballot," said Mark Braden, Collins' attorney.

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The Buffalo-area congressman faces charges of securities fraud, wire fraud and false statements related to alleged insider trading. Collins has rejected the charges as "meritless" and vowed to fight them. However, he last month announced that he would suspend his re-election campaign, saying he believed his decision was in the "best interests" of his constituents.

In light of Collins' legal troubles, national and state Republican officials had hoped to replace him on the ballot and believed there was a path forward to doing so, including by nominating Collins for another office.

Erie County Republican Committee chairman Nick Langworthy said Monday that there was a "crystal clear way" to replace Collins, but that it hinged on his cooperation. Langworthy said Collins and his lawyers expressed concerns that litigation by Democrats could come to bear on Collins' other legal proceedings.

Now, Collins' decision to move forward with his re-election could put his solidly Republican seat in jeopardy.

"This is a big curveball," Langworthy said.

Meredith Kelly, communications director for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said "the stakes just got a whole lot higher" for the election with Collins remaining on the ballot, adding that the race between Collins and Democrat Nate McMurray would present "the clearest of choices."

Collins' campaign has more than $1.3 million on hand to compete this fall, and Langworthy said he hopes the congressman will put it to use, adding, "I think it's very important that this seat remains in Republican hands." But he conceded that Collins' ongoing legal battles could be a "distraction" that complicates Republican efforts to hold his seat.

President Donald Trump recently expressed concern about the political ramifications of Collins' legal battle, suggesting in a tweet earlier this month that the Department of Justice should have held off on charging Collins until after the midterm elections. The race is "now in doubt because there is not enough time" before Election Day, the President added.

However, National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Steve Stivers recently told reporters that he does not share the President's concerns about the timing of the charges.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 448268

Reported Deaths: 6013
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin931011480
Ramsey40016739
Dakota33072340
Anoka30999364
Washington20164228
Stearns17871187
St. Louis13690241
Scott1195496
Wright11614104
Olmsted1048475
Sherburne821365
Carver694836
Clay653280
Rice606868
Kandiyohi554371
Blue Earth541033
Crow Wing482774
Otter Tail457167
Chisago452732
Benton420186
Winona389646
Douglas374166
Nobles370846
Mower365529
Goodhue347958
Polk328658
McLeod325345
Morrison311744
Beltrami310347
Lyon302236
Becker284939
Itasca284543
Isanti282841
Carlton280043
Steele27379
Pine266713
Freeborn245321
Todd231730
Nicollet224636
Brown215134
Mille Lacs214246
Le Sueur210015
Cass207623
Meeker199733
Waseca189316
Wabasha17083
Martin170026
Roseau165416
Hubbard149338
Redwood139727
Renville137539
Houston135913
Dodge13474
Chippewa131332
Cottonwood127218
Fillmore12355
Wadena120116
Rock110212
Sibley10857
Aitkin108433
Watonwan10668
Faribault105916
Pennington99215
Kanabec97818
Pipestone94423
Yellow Medicine93714
Murray8815
Jackson85610
Swift83418
Pope7385
Marshall70215
Stevens7018
Clearwater68514
Lac qui Parle65716
Lake63715
Wilkin6259
Koochiching59610
Lincoln4841
Big Stone4573
Unassigned43768
Grant4298
Norman4248
Mahnomen4107
Kittson37219
Red Lake3174
Traverse2503
Lake of the Woods1951
Cook1140

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Cases: 305606

Reported Deaths: 4278
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk45754449
Linn17795275
Scott15444163
Black Hawk13773236
Woodbury13016175
Johnson1211749
Dubuque11387150
Pottawattamie8992112
Dallas888671
Story869434
Webster469771
Cerro Gordo466768
Sioux455157
Clinton450361
Warren443938
Marshall427761
Buena Vista393429
Muscatine390477
Des Moines381841
Plymouth350368
Wapello344198
Jasper321959
Lee317130
Marion304952
Jones271349
Henry264330
Carroll255434
Bremer245048
Crawford231022
Boone218417
Washington217632
Benton209444
Mahaska193136
Jackson192031
Tama187757
Dickinson186026
Delaware173736
Kossuth173644
Clay168820
Wright164824
Fayette162322
Hamilton160029
Buchanan159923
Winneshiek155719
Harrison155162
Hardin154729
Cedar153219
Clayton151448
Butler148224
Page144715
Floyd139636
Cherokee139027
Mills136416
Lyon135332
Poweshiek132724
Hancock130224
Allamakee127928
Iowa125422
Calhoun12279
Grundy121226
Jefferson120724
Madison12039
Winnebago119429
Mitchell116234
Louisa115030
Cass113341
Chickasaw111612
Sac111215
Emmet110831
Appanoose110538
Union108822
Humboldt105519
Guthrie103024
Shelby102926
Franklin102418
Unassigned9310
Palo Alto9079
Montgomery85622
Keokuk85026
Howard84219
Monroe81218
Clarke7957
Pocahontas77611
Ida74630
Greene6927
Davis69121
Adair68820
Lucas6508
Monona64016
Osceola6409
Worth6113
Taylor5949
Fremont5126
Van Buren49712
Decatur4894
Ringgold4389
Audubon4158
Wayne41421
Adams2963
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