US Representative Reed apologizes amid sexual misconduct claims

Washington: Republican U.S. Representative Tom Reed, who has been mulling a challenge to Democratic New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, apologized to a woman who accused him of sexual misconduct and said he would not run for office next year.

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Reed was accused by a former insurance company lobbyist, Nicolette Davis, of inappropriately placing his hand on her during a networking trip in Minneapolis in 2017, the Washington Post reported on Friday.

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“I apologize to Nicolette Davis,” the Congressman said in a statement released on Twitter on Sunday.

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“I hear her voice and will not dismiss her,” he said, adding he would retire in January 2023, as previously announced.

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Davis, who now serves in the U.S. military, texted a co-worker during the incident saying “a drunk congressman is rubbing my back”, according to the newspaper.

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“HELP HELP,” Davis texted, according to the Post.

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Moderate Republican

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Reed, who had earlier dismissed Davis’ account of his actions as “inaccurate,” said in his latest statement that upon reflection “my personal depiction of this event is irrelevant. I want to share that this (incident) occurred at a time in my life when I was struggling,” he added.

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Reed, 49, was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2010 and has gained a reputation of being a moderate Republican willing to work with Democrats on some issues.

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Reed told Fox News in February he was “seriously considering” running against Cuomo for New York Governor.

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Democratic Cuomo, who would be up for re-election in November 2022, is under increasing pressure to resign following a series of allegations of sexual misconduct and that he had concealed the number of New York state nursing home deaths related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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