Rep. Meehan will not seek reelection after sexual harassment backlash
Rep. Pat Meehan (R-Pa.) announced Thursday that he will not seek reelection in 2018, following immense public backlash over reports of a sexual harassment complaint filed against him by a female former staffer, The Philadelphia Inquirer reports.
“After consultation with my wife, Carolyn, and with my three sons, and after prayerful reflection, I write to inform you that I will not seek re-election to the United States Congress for the Seventh Congressional District in 2018,” Meehan wrote in a letter to his campaign chairman, obtained by the Inquirer. “Today I communicated the same to the office of Speaker Paul Ryan.”
“Unfortunately, recent events concerning my office and the settlement of certain harassment allegations have become a major distraction,” he wrote. “I need to own it because it is my own conduct that fueled the matter.”
The House Ethics Committee on Monday opened an investigation into the claims and removed Meehan from his post on the panel. If found guilty by the Ethics Committee, Meehan said he would repay the taxpayer funds.
The Republican already faced steep obstacles to win reelection in his home district, where Democrat Hillary Clinton won in 2016.
National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Steve Stivers (Ohio) called Meehan’s announcement disappointing.
Updated 9:16 p.m.