(WXXI News & AP) Congressman, Chris Collins, a Republican from Western New York, says he will remain on the ballot running for re-election in New York as he fights charges that he used inside information about a biotechnology company to make illicit stock trades.
At a press conference in Buffalo Wednesday night, Collins called the charges “meritless” and said he looks forward to being exonerated. He earlier pleaded not guilty to insider-trading charges.
Prosecutors say Collins got an email while attending a picnic last year at the White House that the company's medication had failed an important medical trial. They say Collins told his son, who then dumped his stock in the company before the trial results were announced publicly.
Collins is a staunch supporter of President Donald Trump and was among the first sitting members of Congress to endorse his candidacy.
Collins was first elected to the 27th Congressional District seat in 2012. He faces opposition this year from Democrat Nate McMurray and Reform Party candidate Larry Piegza.
The district includes all Orleans, Genesee, Wyoming, and Livingston counties, with parts of Erie, Monroe, Niagara, and Ontario counties.