Indicted Republican Rep. Chris Collins wrote in an email to supporters Wednesday that he would continue to serve in Congress if re-elected.
The New York Republican had previously suspended his campaign after being indicted on charges of insider trading, but he reversed course Tuesday after GOP leaders attempted for weeks to find a way to remove Collins from the ballot. Local GOP leaders were reportedly blindsided by his decision to remain on the ballot.
“Voters can be assured that with the recent turn of events, they can count on me to actively campaign for Congress, and to serve should voters re-elect me,” Collins wrote.
“The stakes are too high to allow the radical left to take control of this seat in Congress,” Collins wrote. “Their agenda is clear. They want to reverse the recently enacted tax cuts, impose Canadian style healthcare, inflict new job-killing regulations and impeach President [Donald] Trump.”
Trump carried the district by 24 points in 2016, his widest margin of victory in New York’s congressional districts.
Collins faces Democrat Nate McMurray in November, the Grand Island town supervisor. McMurray responded to the latest twist by saying it looked “like the criminal is returning to the scene of the crime.”
“Chris Collins has been charged with a crime. He can’t buy his way back into his job,” the Democrat said in a statement. “Chris Collins thinks the rules don’t apply to him. They do. Chris Collins represents everything that’s wrong with Washington.”
Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales rates the general election Leans Republican.
Katherine Tully-McManus contributed to this report.