GOP lawmaker announces retirement after being accused of sexual harassment

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Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY) was accused of unhooking a woman's bra without her consent.

New York Republican Rep. Tom Reed on Sunday announced he is no longer seeking reelection after he was accused of sexual harassment by a female lobbyist.

Nicolette Davis told the Washington Post that Reed unhooked her bra and put his hand on her upper thigh in a 2017 incident, which was corroborated by on-the-record witnesses.

Reed initially disputed Davis' account when the Washington Post first published it on Friday, saying, "This account of my actions is not accurate." However, he took responsibility for it in his Sunday statement.

"I am sorry, and I take full responsibility," Reed said in a statement, admitting that his conduct was "unprofessional" and "wrong."

Reed went on to say that he was struggling with an alcohol addiction at the time of the incident, which he has since sought help for.

"This is in no way an excuse for anything I've done," Reed said, adding that, "Consistent with my recovery, I publicly take ownership" of his actions.

Earlier in March, Axios reported that Reed had started to hire staff for a gubernatorial bid in New York.

However on Sunday, Reed announced that he won't be running "for any elected office in 2022" — making him the first GOP member of the House to announce their retirement ahead of the upcoming midterms.

Reed currently represents an upstate New York district that voted for Donald Trump by an 11-point margin in 2020, according to Daily Kos Elections. However, with redistricting on the horizon for the 2022 midterm elections, it's unclear how Reed's seat will change.

He is co-chair of the House Problem Solvers Caucus, a bipartisan group of moderates in both parties that seeks to find compromise legislation.

Reed did not vote to overturn the 2020 election. However, he was not one of the 10 Republicans to vote to impeach Donald Trump for inciting the insurrection at the Capitol on Jan. 6.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.