HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Pennsylvania Congressman Pat Meehan says he will not seek reelection this November, after admitting he used taxpayer dollars to pay off a former staffer who accused him of sexual harassment, and the timing couldn’t be worse for Republicans.
Meehan was a member of the house ethics committee, which is now the committee which is investigating him. Initially, Meehan had said he would run for a fifth term, but on Thursday he told Speaker of the House Paul Ryan he would not.
Jim Lee, President of Susquehanna Polling & Research, which watches political trends and tracks elections, “I think the national Republicans wake up in the morning and they’re afraid to read the headlines, like ‘Oh boy, what trouble do we have today to deal with,” said Lee.
Lee says Meehan’s decision to leave the house is bad news for Republicans in 2018. “The last thing they need is incumbent Republicans stepping down amid scandal, in what looks like it could be shaping up as not a favorable year for Republicans,” said Lee.
Adding to the bad news, Meehan represents the 7th Congressional District, it’s the one aptly described as looking like Donald kicking Goofy and accused of being one of the most gerrymandered districts in the country. The State Supreme Court this week ruled Pennsylvania’s Congressional maps must be withdrawn.
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf says it will make elections a more fair process for voters. “I think the people of this country are tired of gerrymandering. It’s time to move to a fair map. That’s what I’m dedicated to, that’s what I promised, and that’s what I’m going to deliver,” said Wolf.
Jim Lee says the race for Meehan’s seat could be one of the most expensive races for this election season.