According to a report from Politico, the Republican Party in New York is frantically making moves to keep indicted Rep. Chris Collins off the 2020 general election ballot out of fears they will lose his House seat representing a GOP stronghold.
Collins, who briefly said he would not run for re-election, had a change of heart after he was indicted on insider trading and corruption charges.
The report notes, "With his case awaiting trial, a cohort of Republican Party operatives fear there will be no miracle victory next year like Collins pulled off shortly after being charged in 2018. In hopes of retaining the seat and seeing an opening, three Republicans already have announced plans to run regardless of the four-term incumbent's political future in New York’s 27th district, and more may be on the way."
Donald Trump won Collins' district by 25 points in 2016, and, despite being indicted just before the election, Collins won reelection that year with over 67 percent of the vote.
The state Republican Party isn't counting on being so lucky in 2020 in a high turn-out election with Trump on the ballot, and are looking elsewhere for a safe candidate.
“The only way this district is lost is if Chris Collins is on the ballot,” explained state Sen. Chris Jacobs (R-Buffalo), the first to declare his bid against Collins.
As it stands now, Collins is facing a federal district court trial, slated for February 2020 in New York City while also under investigation by the House Ethics Committee.
Collins still might drop out, which gives some GOP leaders hope.
“I personally don’t ultimately think he’ll be a candidate for reelection, and there’s a variety of very qualified candidates, and some still waiting in the wings to get into the race,” said state GOP Chairman Nick Langworthy.
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