Rep. Patrick Meehan drops re-election bid amid harassment furor

Marsha Scott
January 28, 2018

"Today I communicated the same to the office of Speaker Paul Ryan".

Meehan reportedly paid the settlement using his congressional office fund, which includes taxpayer money.

As a member of the House Ethics Committee, Meehan was involved in investigating sexual harassment in Congress, including misconduct claims against four current and former congressmen: Trent Franks (R-Ariz.), John Conyers (D-Mich.), Blake Farenthold (R-Texas) and Ruben Kihuen (D-Nev.).

Lee says Meehan's decision to leave the house is bad news for Republicans in 2018.

In the letter, Meehan also elaborated on his use of "soul mate", which drew widespread ridicule and anger - from political commentators to Stephen Colbert on The Late Show - after he and Daily News. The report, which cites unnamed sources, alleges Meehan romantically pursued the younger staffer and became angry with her when she entered a romantic relationship with another man.

Pat Meehan has comfortably won reelection three times in the Republican-leaning Seventh Congressional District, but its suburban voters have narrowly swung both Republican and Democratic in the last two presidential elections.

After an interview with The Inquirer where Meehan referred to the woman as his "soul mate" - all while saying that no romantic relationship had occurred - pressure ramped up on him to leave his seat.

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The accuser's lawyer, Alexis Ronickher, called the allegations "well-grounded" and a "serious sexual harassment claim".

She alleged that the congressman became hostile toward her when she did not return his romantic interest and began a relationship outside the office, prompting her to leave her post, according to the newspaper. "I need to own it because it is my own conduct that fueled the matter".

Meehan's decision to abandon his re-election bid followed a whirlwind 96-hour period that goes down as the most inept and bungled response to a crisis faced by an elected official in recent memory.

Pennsylvania's 7th District includes portions of Delaware, Montgomery, Chester, Berks and Lancaster counties.

Six Democrats are vying for the nomination, including newcomer and Central Intelligence Agency veteran Shelly Chauncey, and Daylin Leach, who stepped back from his campaign after he was accused of workplace harassment.

Gale would join U.S. Navy veteran and longtime volunteer firefighter Joe Billie on the ballot for the Republican primary if he does jump into the race.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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