MILO — Tracy Mitrano, Democratic candidate for New York’s 23rd Congressional District, said Thursday Rep. Tom Reed should donate any campaign contributions from disgraced former congressman Chris Collins to charity.
“(Collins’) actions have been a dark cloud hanging over the 27th Congressional District for the past 2 1/2 years,” Mitrano said in a statement. “Congressman Collins should have resigned at the time of his indictment, in June of 2017. Instead, he created the CHRIS PAC (political action committee) and began funneling campaign money to fellow Republicans, including Congressman Tom Reed.”
A spokesman for Reed’s re-election campaign said Mitrano is “lying” about contributions, indicating the only money Reed, R-Corning, received from Collins was in 2014.
Mitrano called it “ironic” that Reed now calls on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to quickly set a special election to ensure the people of the 27th District have proper representation in the House.
“Mr. Reed, where were you back in June of 2017 when the allegations against Mr. Collins resulted in his indictment for felony fraud charges?” Mitrano asked.
Collins pleaded guilty in Manhattan federal court Tuesday to a pair of felony charges relating to insider trading. The Buffalo-area lawmaker, who resigned Monday, provided his son Cameron in June 2017 with information about a failed trial of a multiple sclerosis drug developed by Immunotherapeutics, an Australian biotech company whose board he sat on at the time.
The son swiftly dumped the stock, according to federal regulators, and also shared the information with his then-father-in-law.
Cameron Collins pleaded guilty Thursday to a single charge of conspiracy to commit securities fraud.
Mitrano said Reed must “take the right action” and donate any contributions from the Collins PAC to a local non-profit organization.
“At least that’s a start to getting dirty money out of the 23rd Congressional District and bringing clear skies back to the 27th district,” she said.
Matt Coker, the Reed for Congress campaign spokesman, said, “New York’s 27th Congressional District deserves proper representation in Washington, and we believe Gov. Cuomo should call for a special election as soon as possible.”
The campaign indicated the only contribution Reed received from Collins was in 2014.
Of Mitrano’s call for Reed to donate Collins’ political contributions from 2014, Coker said, “This is just another example of why you can’t trust Tracy. She’s lying about the facts surrounding a contribution from over five years ago in an effort to distract voters from her extremist views on heroin injection sites, impeaching the president and outsourcing our manufacturing jobs.”