WASHINGTON — Representative Tom Reed, Republican of New York, said on Sunday that he would not run for any political office in 2022, including governor, after a former lobbyist accused him of touching her inappropriately during a weekend political trip in 2017.
In a lengthy statement, Mr. Reed, 49, who was first elected to Congress in 2010, apologized to the former lobbyist, Nicolette Davis, whose story was reported on Friday by The Washington Post. Mr. Reed said that he took “full responsibility” for the episode and that it “occurred at a time in my life in which I was struggling” with an alcohol addiction.
“Even though I am only hearing of this matter as stated by Ms. Davis in the article now, I hear her voice and will not dismiss her,” Mr. Reed said. “In reflection, my personal depiction of this event is irrelevant. Simply put, I caused her pain, showed her disrespect and was unprofessional. I was wrong, I am sorry and I take full responsibility.”
Before Ms. Davis’s allegation, Mr. Reed was publicly mulling a run for governor in 2022, telling Fox News in February that he was “seriously considering” such a bid as Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo came under fire for a wave of accusations of sexual harassment and other misconduct. Mr. Reed also said on Sunday that he would not run for re-election to his seat in Congress, citing a pledge he made to voters when he was first elected to serve only six terms.
Ms. Davis told The Post that when she was a 25-year-old lobbyist for the insurance company Aflac, Mr. Reed had groped her at an Irish pub in Minneapolis after a day of ice fishing with donors, politicians and lobbyists. While intoxicated, Mr. Reed placed his hand on her back, she said, unclasped her bra through her blouse and moved his hand up her thigh before Ms. Davis asked the man sitting next to her to intervene.
After her accusation was made public on Friday, Mr. Reed said in a statement that the “account of my actions is not accurate,” but did not elaborate or deny the encounter outright.
(With inputs from NYTimes)
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