Rep. Chris Collins will no longer sign off on a measure to remove him from the ballot, meaning he will remain on the ticket for this November’s election.
Collins said he was no longer going to run for re-election after insider trading charges against him were announced.
He currently serves New York’s 27th Congressional District.
Erie County GOP Chairman Nick Langworthy says Collins is listening to advice from his attorney and staying on the ballot.
“We are very surprised,” Langworthy said. “This comes as a disappointment to Republican leaders.”
Collins’ attorney, Mark Braden, released a statement on the matter.
“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,” he said.
However, speaking Monday, Langworthy implied a “crystal clear” plan was place: “I had some people who were absolutely willing to do some selfless things this week.”
Langworthy said Republican County Chairs from across the congressional district were preparing to remove Collins and replace him with another candidate this week. He added Collins’ exclusive interview with WIVB last week, in which the congressman expressed his intent to work with Republican leaders to find a new candidate, may have played a factor in his change of heart.
“I have been in communication with his team almost every day since this process started and the indictment came down on August 8th,” Langworthy said. “Documents had been sent to their legal team to review. There was a full appetite for cooperation up until late last week. Things started to change after the interview on channel 4.”
Nate McMurray, the Democrat challenging Collins for his seat, responded to the development by saying: “We’re fighting against corruption. And that corruption is top down and it’s a team of people who said this man is our standardbearer. We need to fight that. And the people of western New York need to understand that the people involved in that team believed they could force this man upon you.”