Meehan Will Not Run for Re-Election
Congressman Pat Meehan (R-Delaware) announced he will not run for re-election this year after allegations he sexually harassed a staffer and paid a settlement out of his office budget. Meehan’s announcement creates another open Congressional seat in Pennsylvania this year.
“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 that was obtained by the Inquirer.
Meehan’s announcement comes less than a week after the New York Times reported that Meehan settled a sexual harassment claim by a staffer using his office budget. Meehan has since said that he viewed the staffer as a “soul mate” and had a deep “affection” for her.
The House Ethics committee has also opened an investigation into Meehan’s handling of the claim. Meehan was formerly a member of the Ethics committee but has since been replaced by Texas Congressman John Ratcliffe.
The announcement could have ramifications for the state’s Congressional map redraw this year, as Republicans may consider allowing the 7th district to become more of a Democratic seat to sure up other vulnerable southeast Republican seats.
Meehan’s announcement creates the state’s fifth open Congressional seat.