Rep. Chris Collins, who was charged with insider trading Wednesday, has announced in a statement that he will be suspending his campaign for re-election to Congress in New York's 27th District.
"Democrats are laser focused on taking back the House, electing Nancy Pelosi Speaker and then launching impeachment proceedings against President Trump. They would like nothing more than to elect an 'Impeach Trump' Democrat in this District, which is something that neither our country or my party can afford.
After extensive discussions with my family and my friends over the last few days, I have decided that it is in the best interests of the constituents of NY-27, the Republican Party and President Trump’s agenda for me to suspend my campaign for re-election to Congress.
I will fill out the remaining few months of my term to assure that our community maintains its vote in Congress to support President Trump’s agenda to create jobs, eliminate regulations, reduce the size of government, address immigration and lower taxes.
I will also continue to fight the meritless charges brought against me and I look forward to having my good name cleared of any wrongdoing.”
Nate McMurray, the Democratic candidate for the 27th Congressional District, held a press conference Saturday afternoon and called for Collins' resignation.
7 EWN reached out to Collins' campaign for further comment, they could not be reached.
Statement from Erie County Democratic Committee Chairman Jeremy Zellner on Collins' decision to suspend his campaign:
This is raw arrogance. If Collins is unable to campaign because of his legal woes, he is also unable to represent our Community. He must admit guilt and resign now. #NY27 @WKBW @news4buffalo @WGRZ @SPECNewsBuffalo https://t.co/ZY9mAUSxHH
— Jeremy Zellner (@ZellnerforECDC) August 11, 2018
The Erie County Democratic Party released a statement early Saturday afternoon regarding the suspension of Collins' campaign:
"We thought we had seen the full extent of the shamelessness and arrogance of Chris Collins and the GOP, but this is a new low.
Under arrest for securities fraud, Collins is now attempting to defraud the people of the 27th Congressional District, who he has refused to meet with or respect while in office.
If Chris Collins is unable to campaign because of his legal woes, he is also unable to perform the duties of his office. He must admit guilt and resign.
This process has a dark cloud over it and is now creating more shame on an international basis for Western New York.
Apparently, the GOP is willing to disgrace itself and pay any price to hold on to a congressional seat."
In a statement, Erie County Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw, announced he will work to earn the support of the county chairs for the Republican nomination for the 27th Congressional District.
"This has been a sad and difficult week for NY27. I respect Congressman Collins' decision and I thank him for his decade of public service and I wish him and his family the best during the difficult days ahead.
As a proud Republican and conservative supporter of President Trump, I cannot stand by and let this critical Congressional seat fall into the hands of a radical left wing candidate who will be a vote to impeach President Trump.
Radical Nate McMurray spent his career fighting for the kind of global, free trade agreements that have sent thousands of good paying jobs in the 27th district to China and Korea. We’ve seen what those deals have cost us and we simply can’t afford them anymore.
McMurray’s radical views would do grave damage to our district. We cannot let that happen, and that’s why I will work to earn the support of the county chairs for the Republican Nomination for the 27th Congressional District."
Carl Paladino, another possible candidate for the vacant seat, announced his intentions via Twitter Saturday afternoon.
I’m all in! #NY27
— Carl Paladino (@CarlPaladino) August 11, 2018
Senator Robert Ortt, announced his intentions in a statement on Sunday:
“I am humbled and honored to have my name included in the shortlist of individuals considered to represent the constituents of New York’s 27th Congressional District. Just as I answered the call to serve my country after the events of September 11th, I will answer the call should I be asked to serve the constituents of New York’s 27th Congressional District. Regardless of who is selected as the Republican Party’s nominee for NY27 this November, we must ensure the values of the district’s hard-working residents continues to be represented at the federal level.”
Assemblyman Ray Walter, announced his intentions to run for the nomination via Twitter on Saturday:
— Ray Walter (@RaymondWWalter) August 11, 2018
Assemblyman David DiPietro, originally said Saturday that he would not be a possible candidate for the open nomination. However on Sunday evening, he retweeted Michael Caputo saying that he is participating in the process:
Assemblyman David DiPietro will participate in the chairs’ process.
— Michael Caputo (@MichaelRCaputo) August 13, 2018
Assemblyman Steve Hawley, sent WKBW this statement Sunday evening:
"This Congressional District has experienced turmoil & issues of honesty & trust over the last number of years. I believe my demeanor, experience in business ( agriculture, insurance & real estate), community involvement (United Way, Farm Bureau, Cooperative Extension & Rotary Club of Batavia), 8 years as a county legislator, 8 years on the Genesee Valley Board of education & 12.5 years in the NYS Assembly, serving the residents of the 139th District (most of which is in the 27th Congressional District) make me uniquely qualified to serve my friends & neighbors in Washington. I am a veteran and have annually hosted my Patriot Trip to Washington DC for veterans & family members….Sept 20-23 will be Patriot Trip XI….pushing the total over 1100 who have made this annual trek honoring our nation’s heroes. Representation requires honesty, integrity, stability & respect for others. I bring these qualities with me every day & believe the residents of the 27th Congressional District deserve nothing less. I’d be honored to be the next Congressman to serve this district…….in much the same way as my family friend & mentor did…..Barber Conable, Jr."
Erie County Republican Committee Chairman Nick Langworthy announced Saturday there could be up to 15 candidates for the open seat and a decision on a final candidate may need to be made within a week to 10 days.
No further information is available at this time.