New York's solidly red 27th congressional district is swinging slightly more Democratic now that incumbent Rep. Chris Collins (R-N.Y.) is facing criminal charges, CNBC reports.
Collins is remaining on the November ballot for re-election despite his Wednesday arrest. The lawmaker pleaded not guilty to charges of insider trading, wire fraud, and making false statements to the FBI following an investigation into his investments in and private disclosures about an Australian biotech company. Federal Election Commission records additionally show that Collins used campaign funds to pay for his legal representation in the yearlong investigation. A spokesman said that Collins will pay for his own legal bills going forward.
After the news of the arrest, NY-27 went from a "solid" Republican rating to "likely" on the Cook Political Report. The district was previously all but guaranteed to vote Republican — Collins won his bid for re-election handily in 2016, and the district voted for President Trump by nearly 25 percentage points. Democratic candidate Nate McMurray quickly began raising more money following the news of Collins' arrest, calling him a "corrupt Trump Republican." Despite the district's conservative voter base, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee now says "this seat is firmly in play for Democrats." Read more at CNBC. Summer Meza