Background by Roll Call:

Collins, who represents New York’s 27th District that covers Buffalo and its surrounding counties, suspended his campaign after being indicted on charges of insider trading last month.

But he later reversed course after GOP leaders attempted for weeks to find a way to remove Collins from the ballot. Local and national GOP leaders were reportedly blindsided by his decision to remain on the ballot.

The House GOP campaign arm will not spend any money to help Collins.

“I don’t plan to spend a penny in that race,” National Republican Congressional Committee chairman Steve Stivers of Ohio told reporters on Tuesday.

“And I think Chris will win on his own accord,” Stivers added.


If representative Collins were to run and win his seat:

  1. Is there any history of a congressman successfully fending off the same (if not materially similar) charge?
  2. In what ways is it easier/difficult for a public figure to overcome a charge of this nature?
  3. If unsuccessful in defending and convicted, how is this problematic for the represented district?
  • Does senate count? NJ senators (more than one, including current one) fit this.
    – user4012
    Sep 26, 2018 at 16:04
  • For this exercise, I suspect the difference between senators & congress representatives is zero: if true, then Senators are applicable.
    – gatorback
    Sep 26, 2018 at 16:58

1 Answer 1


Not quite insider trading, but Alcee Hastings was impeached for accepting a bribe and committing perjury (he lied under oath about accepting the bribe). Three years later, he was elected to the House of Representatives and is still there.

If Chris Collins goes to jail, he could be removed from office by the House of Representatives. That would leave his seat vacant until filled by a special election or a regular election.

It is more difficult in that there are some things that he doesn't want to say politically that could help his case. It is easier in that people don't want to believe that someone for whom they voted is guilty.

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