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US Rep Chris Collins suspends re-election campaign

New York Republican Rep. Chris Collins has shelved his re-election bid, following recent charges of insider trading.

"After extensive discussions with my family and my friends over the last few days, I have decided that it is in the best interests of the constituents of NY-27, the Republican Party and President Trump’s agenda for me to suspend my campaign for re-election to Congress," Collins said in an Aug. 11 statement.

Collins plans to serve the remaining months of his term. He also said he will continue fighting the "meritless" charges brought against him. "I look forward to having my good name cleared of any wrongdoing," he wrote.

Earlier in the week the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filed insider trading charges against Collins, who is a member of the board of an Australian pharmaceutical company, for allegedly giving insider tips to his son and helping friends and family avoid over $700,000 in losses. The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York simultaneously announced related criminal charges.

The congressman pleaded not guilty to the charges.

It remains unclear exactly how Collins will withdraw from the election at this point, as New York law says that Collins' name can only be removed from the ballot if he dies, moves out of state or is nominated for another office, Politico reported.