BUFFALO, N.Y. — In an email to supporters Wednesday afternoon, Congressman Chris Collins made two promises: He would "actively campaign" in New York's 27th District and if re-elected would serve in the House of Representatives.
This comes just two days after Collins surprised Republican leaders, indicating he would remain on the ballot. Last month, the congressman suspended his campaign after federal prosecutors charged him with crimes relating to insider trading.
"The stakes are too high to allow the radical left to take control of this seat in Congress," Collins wrote. "Their agenda is clear. They want to reverse the recently enacted tax cuts, impose Canadian style healthcare, inflict new job-killing regulations and impeach President Trump."
Democratic challenger Nate McMurray's campaign has grown in profile thanks to the charges. Although most analysts still consider him an underdog, some have also upgraded his chances of flipping the seat. Wednesday he replied to Collins, "Bring it."
“It looks like the criminal is returning to the scene of the crime – and I’m not just talking about insider trading, lying to the FBI and everything else he’s been accused of – I mean the derelict of duty he did by ignoring his constituents and their interests for every second of his elected life," McMurray said.
The candidate also questioned what Collins means by "actively campaigning," arguing he's been hiding from his constituents since his arrest.
"No matter what he (McMurray) says right now, he will be part of a Democrat majority if they were to take that in the House of Representatives that will go on to make their first order of business the impeachment of President Trump," said Nick Langworthy, chair of the Erie County Republican Committee.
McMurray has not said how he would vote regarding impeachment of the president.