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Arrest of GOP Congressman Could Open Door in "Red" District

Western New York Congressional Representative Chris Collins is charged with insider trading, which could turn a red district into a battleground. (WHAM photo)

AP--

The arrest of a Republican congressman from western New York is emboldening Democrats who say it could help them win a heavily Republican district.

U.S. Rep. Chris Collins pleaded not guilty on Wednesday to charges that he gave inside information about a company's failed drug trial to his son, allowing him to avoid big stock losses.

Collins served on the board of the Sydney, Australia-based company Innate Immunotherapeutics.

His Democratic opponent, Nate McMurray, says his campaign received "tens of thousands" of dollars in new contributions following Collins' arrest.

But the arrest itself may not be enough to cost Collins his seat.

The district voted overwhelmingly for Republican President Donald Trump and backed Collins over his 2014 Democratic challenger by a more than 2-1 margin.

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