According to City & State Ellis dropped out of the race following a request for comment from the organization about abuse allegations from his ex-fiancée and sexual harassment claims by a former employee while he was the county treasurer.
From City & State:
In 2010, county employee Marina Bradley filed a formal human resources complaint, stating that Ellis had repeatedly harassed her through phone calls and emails. The pair had dated, but Bradley said that Ellis, who was Montgomery County treasurer at the time, had threatened her job with the county government once their relationship ended.
“At the end of my relationship with Mr. Ellis, his behavior became extremely possessive and erratic,” Bradley said in a statement at the time. “My job was repeatedly threatened by him and I took steps to block harassing phone calls and emails from him.”
Ellis was later censured for violating an agreement prohibiting him from visiting Bradley’s workplace at an office building outside the county courthouse. Then-Democratic Commissioner Joe Hoeffel demanded Ellis’ resignation over the incident. Ellis refused, stating that “the matter has been closed amicably.”
It wasn’t his first brush with the type of incident that has taken on new urgency and relevance in the #MeToo era. In 2004, Ellis’ ex-fiancée, Lisa Ann Whalen, stated that the attorney had subjected her to a campaign of physical and emotional abuse, at one point threatening her with a golf club at a miniature golf course. “Do you know what I want to do with this?” Ellis reportedly asked her.
In a separate incident, she stated that Ellis had backed over her with his vehicle in an attempt to regain custody of their then-10-month-old child.
Ellis similarly stated that the matter was resolved privately.
“This is a personal and private custody issue and I ask that people keep (Whalen) and I in their prayers,” he said in an interview at the time.
However, years later, he delivered a public apology to Whalen at a commissioners meeting.
Ellis was running against lawyer Elizabeth Havey, the daughter of former state Attorney General Ernie Preate, Jr. for chair of the party.
In a letter obtained my City & State, Ellis said that the put the blame on the allegations on those who are running against him for chair, and put his support behind 2016 Republican National Convention delegate Lauren Casper for chair.
“Those aligned against me and my candidacy will not stop in their efforts to damage my candidacy. I only wanted to restore the party to its glory days…Casper, a new face with new ideas and new energy, is the right person at the right time for this task,” Ellis wrote.