NY GOP Congressman Chris Collins suspends campaign amid insider trading allegations

GOP Rep. Chris Collins, one of President Donald Trump‘s earliest backers in Congress, suspended his reelection campaign on Saturday, in the wake of insider trading allegations that resulted in his dramatic arrest this week.

Collins tweet

The congressman may have trouble getting his name removed from the ballot ahead of the November elections. New York’s labyrinthine laws make it difficult for a candidate to have his or her name revoked, including death, disqualification or asking for removal. The latter has several deadlines, all of which Collins appears to have missed — meaning it’s entirely possible his name could appear on the ballot, even under indictment.

At least one candidate was prepared to replace Collins. Erie County Comptroller Stefan I. Mychajliw declared himself in the running, saying in a statement posted to Twitter that he would “work to earn the trust of” GOP officials that could possibly get him the Republican nomination.

Collins, a wealthy businessman, was first elected to to the House of Representatives in 2012. He immediately became one of the 10 richest lawmakers, with an average net worth of nearly $60 million, according to OpenSecrets.

However, his business acumen has landed him in hot water, with federal authorities nabbing him on insider trading charges on Wednesday. The congressman stands accused of selling shares of an Australian biotechnology company.

Collins is accused of funneling nonpublic information about a failed drug trial to his son before the company announced it publicly. Collins’ son Cameron was also charged in the indictment, and is accused of dumping more than a million shares of the company’s stock ahead of a steep plunge in its price.

–CNBC’s Kevin Breuninger contributed to this article.

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