GOP Rep. Pat Meehan Won't Seek Re-Election

27 January, 2018, 20:20 | Author: Chad Mckenzie
  • Mitchell Layton | NHLI | Getty Images

Pat Meehan, the Republican representing the 7th District, announced Thursday night that he will not stand for re-election, following revelations last weekend that he had secretly paid a settlement to a staffer who had accused him of sexual harassment.

The Washington Post obtained a letter Meehan sent to his campaign chairman that said in part, "It is clear to me, that under the current conditions, any campaign I would run would not be decided over vital issues but would likely devolve into an ugly spectacle of harsh rhetoric".

Meehan explained that his use of the word soulmate was "in no way" meant to "suggest a romantic partnership", in a letter sent to his campaign chairman Thursday and first obtained by The Philadelphia Inquirer.

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The complaint by a former aide three decades younger than U.S. Rep. The accuser's lawyer, Alexis Ronickher, called the allegations "well-grounded" and a "serious sexual harassment claim".

Meehan, a former USA attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, should still possess a prosecutor's sense of how evidence establishes guilt. Asked why he chose to confidentially settle the claim using taxpayer money, Meehan said House attorneys advised him it was a practice that had been used before.

Meehan was formerly a member of the Ethics committee but has since been replaced by Texas Congressman John Ratcliffe.

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He told reporters that while he had struggled with his feelings, he also insisted that he had kept their relationship professional.

Asked again whether the RNC still stands with Meehan, she said, "Right now, we're going to let the investigations take place, we'll see everything that happened through the ethics investigation, and then we'll let the voters decide".

Meehan, a four-term lawmaker, drew backlash Wednesday from comedian Stephen Colbert, among others, after he referred to his alleged victim as his "soulmate" in attempting to defend his actions.

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"I think a good common-sense Republican can retain the seat provided it's not redrawn a Democratic district by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court", said Reilly, referencing the congressional redistricting ordered by the state Supreme Court.

Democrat Hillary Clinton narrowly won the district in the 2016 presidential election, and winning it likely becomes an even bigger target for Democrats animated by anti-Trump fervor in Philadelphia's suburbs, and more hard for Republicans.

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